Recent News

Laura DePrado Awarded Linda M. Ciccantelli Scholarship

Press Release

Branchburg, New Jersey
September 3, 2010

Laura DePrado, President of Final Touch Plantscaping, LLC is the recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Therapy Network 2010 Linda M. Ciccantelli Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a student at Rutgers University, Temple University, or the New York Botanical Garden for outstanding horticultural practices and vision. Laura is a student studying horticultural therapy at the Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. The MAHTN is a registered association of horticultural therapy professionals and students in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The MAHTN supports the integration of horticultural therapy programs within therapeutic and rehabilitative practices, and promotes professional development and standards through communication, education, and peer networking opportunities.

The award will be presented at the MAHTN annual conference at Audubon Greenwich, in Greenwich, Connecticut on September 25, 2010.

In 1976, Linda M. Ciccantelli, a pioneer in horticultural therapy, originated the now well-known horticultural therapy program at the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Center City Philadelphia, a facility that specializes in rehabilitation after brain and spinal cord injuries and strokes. By 1993, her successful program’s activities were held in a sixth-floor roof-top greenhouse at the hospital, and was featured in a 2004 Time Magazine article.

“I am deeply honored.” said DePrado. “Linda’s work has positively changed many lives, and I am dedicated to continuing horticultural therapy in that same spirit.”

Laura DePrado and her business is committed to the growing profession of horticultural therapy. Laura specializes in creating customized horticultural therapy programs for diverse groups for rehabilitation. Her selection for the award recognizes the outstanding horticultural therapy program that she conceived and developed for Anderson House, a residential half-way house in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The horticultural therapy program is now in its second successful year and is enthusiastically embraced by the Anderson House residents, who hail from all 21 New Jersey counties. For more information about the Anderson House project, see Spotlight On Anderson House at

Laura DePrado may be reached by phone at 908 872-8387, by e-mail at, or through her web site

New Rotary Member – Laura Deprado

Rotary Club of Branchburg inducts new member By Frank Mustac / Messenger-Gazette September 15, 2009, 7:22PM Courtesy Rotary Club of BranchburgLaura De Prado, center, being inducted into the Rotary Club of Branchburg back in July. BRANCHBURG, NJ — Laura De Prado is the newest member inducted into the Rotary Club of Branchburg was sponsored by Ken Knops. Laura brings a diverse and interesting background to the Rotary Club as a gifted writer and news reporter who started her career for a publishing company and ultimately landed a story on the cover of the NY times. She has worked with Phil Lempert at the Lempert Company, Phil Donahue, Joan Lunden, met Dan Rather, George Bush Sr., and many famous musicians, while working as a reporter.

Her passion changed from writing to fitness and wellness and making a difference in the lives of others. While working as a reporter, she wrote about fitness, and taught exercise classes. For 16 year Laura had career in the fitness industry teaching aerobics, training instructors, and customizing corporate fitness plans for employees. “It was exhilarating to watch clients transform before my eyes and know that I was making a difference in their lives,” said Laura.

Laura now resides in Branchburg with the love of her life and her two children. She is a certified Master Gardner and is the proud owner and creator of “Final Touch Plantscaping,” a name that came to life from a client who nicknamed her “The Finishing Touch” because of that “something extra” she added to personalize the design for clients. She uses plants to tell stories from place to place and space to space. She now can transform a property into personal oasis. With this new career Laura said, “I could once again make a difference in someone’s life – not with fitness, but with plants. I knew this was my calling.”

“The healing effect of nature never ceases to amaze me,” said Laura. Currently, she is working on an initiative that will bring horticulture therapy to a diverse population in a clinical setting. She also provides extensive horticultural support and is writing a curriculum for a women’s halfway house in Whitehouse Station, NJ.

Branchburg Rotary is happy her new passion is Rotary and she is enthusiastically involved in many of the Rotary programs that strive to make the world a better place and improve the lives of those in need. If you would like to join Laura and participate in this welcoming and worthwhile organization contact Julie Ann Juliano at or visit

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