OUR STORY

A Chance Meeting. Changed Lives.

Trellis was founded in 2017 by Wendy Battaglia and Rachel Cochran. Both Wendy and Rachel were on individual journeys that led them to attend horticultural therapy training in Colorado. It was here that they connected over the life-changing practice of horticultural therapy.

Back in Atlanta, they discovered three pivotal things: 1) only a handful of horticultural therapy programs existed; 2) many human service organizations were interested in bringing the practice into their own organizations but didn’t know how or where to begin, and 3) opportunities for people with impaired mobility to engage in gardening were severely limited. 

It became clear that an organization was needed to support, educate and guide organizations and people in the design and creation of therapeutic gardening programs and accessible garden spaces to address these unmet needs.

OUR STORY

A Chance Meeting. Changed Lives.

Trellis was founded in 2017 by Wendy Battaglia and Rachel Cochran. Both Wendy and Rachel were on individual journeys that led them to attend horticultural therapy training in Colorado. It was here that they connected over the life-changing practice of horticultural therapy.

Back in Atlanta, they discovered three pivotal things: 1) only a handful of horticultural therapy programs existed; 2) many human service organizations were interested in bringing the practice into their own organizations but didn’t know how or where to begin, and 3) opportunities for people with impaired mobility to engage in gardening were severely limited. 

It became clear that an organization was needed to support, educate and guide organizations and people in the design and creation of therapeutic gardening programs and accessible garden spaces to address these unmet needs.

OUR MISSION

Trellis uses the power of gardening and nature to improve the lives of people living with disabilities by providing purpose, fostering independence, and creating community.

OUR VISION

A world where horticultural therapy and accessible gardening are commonly used practices to engage, inspire and help people connect with plants and the natural world.

OUR MISSION

Trellis uses the power of gardening and nature to improve the lives of people living with disabilities by providing purpose, fostering independence, and creating community.

OUR VISION

A world where horticultural therapy and accessible gardening are commonly used practices to engage, inspire and help people connect with plants and the natural world.

OUR TEAM

The People That Make Trellis Grow.

“I believe horticultural therapy can plant seeds of pride, patience, and possibilities, and cultivate hope and belief in tomorrow.”

WENDY BATTAGLIA, Co-Founder

As a child in Liverpool, England, she worked alongside her grandparents and parents as they tended to their gardens. When Wendy moved to the U.S in 1982, she used her art and design education from John Moores University to work as an event planner. When she returned to England in 2002 to care for her terminally ill mother she reconnected with her passion for gardening and redesigned her mom’s entire garden. Upon returning to the U.S., she earned her Master Gardener Certification and was hired as project manager for Connolly Landscapes, an Atlanta landscape architecture and design firm. Wendy reconnected to the therapeutic benefits of gardening while volunteering at Skyland Trail, a mental health treatment center in Atlanta that embraces Horticultural Therapy as a treatment. This led her to enroll in the Denver-based Horticultural Therapy Institute where she received a certificate in Horticultural Therapy.

“After my child sustained a traumatic brain injury, I saw the reality of isolation and the lack of opportunities for individuals with differing abilities to experience gardening and connect with nature. We can change this with the creation of new horticultural therapy programs.“

RACHEL COCHRAN, Co-Founder

Rachel grew up riding horses in Atlanta, which served as the foundation for her love of the outdoors. She worked as an environmental specialist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for 12 years. A gifted science writer, she began a career in grant writing and grant administration at Georgia Tech in 2011. In 2014, she enrolled in the Denver-based Horticultural Therapy Institute to obtain a certificate in horticultural therapy. There she met Wendy Battaglia and the two began to share their passion for horticultural therapy and ideas to grow the practice of HT in the Atlanta area. Rachel believes in the power of plants and gardening to heal us and has experienced this first hand. As an intern at The Frazer Center, she gardened with adults with intellectual disabilities, and at Skyland Trail, she led therapeutic gardening sessions for adults with mental illness. Rachel graduated from Georgia Tech and holds a Master of Science degree in soil science from the University of Georgia School of Forest Resources. She lives in Decatur with her husband Chuck and two teenage daughters.

SHELLY ROBERTS,

Ability Garden Program Coordinator

LEAH CLEMONS,

Give Back Garden Program Manager

TONY WRIGHT,

Mercy Housing Program Coordinator

SHANNON KADOW,

Volunteer

SUSAN GERMON,

Volunteer
Board of Directors

FRED CONRAD

Fred is the Community Garden Manager for the local nonprofit Food Well Alliance and also served for more than 20 years as the Community Garden Coordinator for the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s community gardening initiatives. Fred is responsible for the support and cultivation of 150 neighborhood community food gardens across Metro Atlanta. Fred served in the US Navy during the first Gulf War and is recognized for his Environmental Volunteerism.

SANDRA MORRIS

Sandra is an organizational development and workforce training consultant.  Sandra has 20 years experience as a director at Georgia Quick Start supporting leading Georgia businesses with successful start-ups and expansions. Sandra is a valuable resource for strategic planning, program development and troubleshooting.  Sandra is an avid gardener and horticulturalist residing in Stone Mountain, Georgia with her husband Sam.

MARGARET KAISER

Margaret, along with her husband Eric, own Grant Central and Grant Central East Pizza in Atlanta. She has served as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives (District 59) from 2007 to 2016. Prior to serving in the Georgia House, Margaret worked for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and The Carter Center. She is a graduate of Emory University and holds a Certificate in Mediation/Dispute Resolution and Health Policy from GSU. Margaret is a Founding Board member of the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, and an active member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club, Historic Oakland Foundation and Carver YMCA Board Member. She and Eric have lived in Grant Park for 25 years where they raised two boys.