I am the Owner and Founder of The Art of Connection (http://theartofconnection.net) where I interweave my identities of Artist, Environmental Educator, and Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (http://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/). I take individuals, as well as groups of about 4-15 people out in different parks around the Seattle area. Forest Therapy Guided Walks take participants slowly and intentionally through Nature. The Guide gives a series of place-based invitations to connect to your senses, to yourself, and to others. The walks are usually 3 hours long, and cover a little less than half a mile. Through the place-based invitations, the participant(s) gain a deeper appreciation of the beings in the Park(s) through moving slowly, and mindfully through the trails. Along with sensory based activities, our events may include opportunities to engage with art expression through visual arts like drawing and painting and arranging of natural materials.
Forest Therapy Walks benefit the participant(s) of the program, as well as to the Park where I am leading. Grounded in over 30 years of scientific research, Forest Therapy has demonstrated that time spent in nature can mitigate the impact of stress on the human body and can even improve health functions. Studies show that spending time in nature is a natural antidepressant, boosts immune function, and even increases your creativity and mental functions. As the participant(s) moves around the Park through the practice of Forest Therapy, they will gain a deep appreciation of the land in 20-30 minute increments of silent, reflective interaction with the area around them. Not only will they feel connected to their senses, they will also be more appreciative Nature and connect to the Park where they are walking.