Hilda M. Krus & Nick Guntli - A Spotlight on The GreenHouse Program at Rikers Island

MHG Meetings

Sponsored By: Metro Hort Group

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Spotlight on The GreenHouse Program at Rikers Island: Founded by The Horticultural Society of New York in 1986

Hilda M. Krus & Nick Guntli

The GreenHouse program is the nation’s first prison horticultural therapy program and today serves about 450 participants per year. Trained horticultural therapists work with women, men and youth who are incarcerated to cultivate gardens on Rikers Island year-round. Plants include ornamentals as well as fruits, vegetables and herbs. Hear how guided, intentional people-plant relationships can have measurable and lasting therapeutic outcomes, offer a wide variety of physical, cognitive and social benefits and support reducing recidivism rates.

The Green Team development program provides in-field vocational training for GreenHouse graduates in design, installation and maintenance.

Hilda M. Krus is the Director of the Horticultural Society of New York’s GreenHouse Program on Rikers Island. Together with her team, she provides students who are incarcerated with horticultural therapy, class room horticultural training and applied education as well hands-on experience in horticulture. The program serves as a resource for horticultural therapy programs nationwide and internationally. Hilda is a registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR) and Licensed Social Worker (MSW, University of Essen, Germany). She has served on the board of the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA).

Nick Guntli, Director of GreenTeam, has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Missouri in Plant Sciences with an emphasis in Landscape Horticulture. He has worked in many different facets of the green industry including: landscaping, nursery sales, and public gardens. He was the Manager of Horticulture & Workforce Development and is now the Director of GreenTeam.