Laura DePrado is a change-maker in her community and beyond. Laura is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. Her vision, passion and commitment to connect people, plants and community are infectious. She is a wife, mother of two teenagers, rotarian, business owner, and golfer. In 2009 she went back to college at Rutgers University to study Horticultural Therapy. (The process of using plants as tools in human well being and rehabilitation). Adding to her Bachelor of Science Degree, Laura just achieved her Horticultural Therapy Certificate from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Laura is the owner of Final Touch Plantscaping, LLC in Central New Jersey.Laura specializes in garden designs, plant expertise, as well as developing programs and activities for the special needs population using horticultural therapy techniques. She is an active and contributory member of several local, state and national horticulture, agriculture and business associations including the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, the New Jersey Farm Bureau, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the American Horticultural Therapy Association, Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, and Somerset County Business Partnership. Laura is a certified Rutgers Master Gardener of Somerset and Hunterdon Counties. She has dedicated more than 2,000 hours since 2009, pioneering and spearheading horticultural therapy outreach programs including the Anderson House, well-known for their programs for women in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions. Since 2009 her work has resulted in expanded programs for Rutgers Cooperative Extension, numerous accolades locally and nationally, scholarships and honors for outstanding programs from Rutgers University, the United Way, Anderson House, the Somerset County Freeholders, the Courier News and the Mid Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network.
- Presenter 2011 AHTA National Conference, “The Role of Horticultural Therapy in the Therapeutic Community” – Asheville, NC
- Received the Somerset County Board of Agriculture Tom Everett Memorial Scholarship in honor of the late Hillsborough resident; the first Continuing Education Scholarship recipient to receive this award in the history of Somerset County.
- Columnist for the Gardener News, New Jersey’s leading monthly newspaper serving the agriculture, landscape, nursery and greenhouse industry.
- Mentor to college and high school students as well as coach to local scouts.
- Club and Community Service Director for Rotary International District 7510.
- Facilitator of a new partnership between Rotary and Rutgers University, and founder of “Growing Lives One Seed at a Time,” a new enabling garden with Horticultural Therapy in 5 New Jersey county pilots in the upcoming months.
Final Touch Plantscaping is an active member of the following:
- New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association
- Professional Women in Construction
- American Horticultural Therapy Association
- Mid Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network
- New Jersey Farm Bureau
- Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Somerset County
- Rotary International District 7510
- Connect with Laura DePrado on Linked In