Why "Growing Grace"?
Charis graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor of science in horticulture. Though she enjoyed growing fruits and vegetables, she knew she wanted to do more to help people. Then she found HT.
Charis completed her certificate in horticultural therapy from the Horticultural Therapy Institute and completed her supervised internship at the North Carolina Botanic Garden. While there, she gardened with individuals living with Alzheimer's and dementia, traumatic brain injuries and severe and persistent mental illness. These groups focused on maintianing and improving cognitive and physical abilities in a relaxed, fun and social atmosphere.
To best serve her clients, Charis maintains professional registration from the American Horticultural Therapy Association and adult and pediatric CPR and first aid certification from the American Red Cross.
When she is not gardening, Charis enjoys travelling, and volunteering with children and youth. Her life motto is, “Bloom where the Lord plants you!"
Meet the HT: Charis Wiegand
Grace has several uses in our language. It can be a fluid way of moving, a pleasant or kindly way of behaving, a prayer, or an undeserved gift from God. While we may grow plants in the garden, we also grow in our physical, social and emotional health and abilities, and we rely on God's grace to do so.
In Genesis 2, we see that the Lord planted a garden and placed mankind in it to care for it, enjoy its fruits, and be in God’s presence. In the Gospels, Jesus used plant metaphors and farming illustrations again and again to help us understand our relationship with the Father, and with each other. Horticultural Therapy is a time tested and effective therapy for therapeutic, vocational and social goals. Combined with a focus and reliance on God’s grace, we believe the possibilities for healing are endless!
Finally, Charis in Greek means grace. Though each program or activity is designed to help clients reach their goals, the horticultural therapist finds herself blessed to learn and grow alongside the garden participants.