About Barb Kreski


With over 30 years of experience as a healthcare professional and educator, including nearly 9 years as Director of Horticultural Therapy at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I've decided to strike out on my own offering education and consulting services to organizations that appreciate the benefits of engaging with nature.

My interests and experiences have led me through a career that brings me to a point where I have solid skills and an intent to apply them as a consultant, educator and subject matter expert.


Education and Certifications

Master of Health Sciences, 2005 Conferred through the School of Occupational Therapy with a concentration in Neuroscience. University of Indianapolis.

Bachelor of Science, with Honors. Occupational Therapy. University of Illinois.

Occupational Therapist, Registered

Horticultural Therapist, Registered


Professional Experience

Chicago Botanic Garden. Director of Horticultural Therapy Services. Responsible for supervision of staff to plan, program & maintain the Buehler Enabling Garden as well as services at off-site locations. Develop and teach horticultural therapy certificate courses, professional and educational presentations, and consultation on accessibility issues.

Marionjoy Rehabilitation Center, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. Pediatric Rehabilitation Therapist

Chicago and Suburban School Districts. Senior Occupational Therapist; provided evaluation, individualized treatment and documentation for special education students in accordance with federal, state and district regulations.

Hines VA Hospital. Occupational Therapist on inpatient psychiatric and substance abuse teams. Provided meaningful task engagement to encourage acceleration of goal attainment.


Selected Presentations

How Does Nature Impact Human Health? United States Botanic Garden, Washington DC, July 22, 2016

Keynote Address, Natur im Garten Conference, May 25, 2013, Vienna, Austria

A Nuanced Approach to Working with Veterans, MuseumNext Conference, New York, November 29, 2016

The Therapeutic Side of Gardening, Chicago Flower & Garden Show, April 24, 2019


Selected Publications

Engaging Clients Through Therapeutic Use of Self, B. Kreski, Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture, 2012, Vol. 2

Healing and Empowering Veterans in a Botanic Garden, B. Kreski, in the Journal of Museum Education, Spring 2016

The Profession and Practice of Horticultural Therapy, edited by R. Haller et al, 2019. Chapter 12: Assessment and documentation strategies for horticultural therapy; Chapter 14: Research applied to practice.


Contact me for ideas, to discuss possibilities or simply to talk.