Nature and Forest Therapy
What is nature and forest therapy?
Nature therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. Nature therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to "forest bathing." Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition. What happens when people remember that we are a part of nature, not separate from it, and are related to all other beings in fundamental ways?
Every guided walk is an act of power and beauty, cultviating deep connections with transformational impacts on people and nature. We aim to nuture heart-centered relationships between all peoples and the more-than-human world of nature.
Nature therapy is a practice. It is open-ended; there is no prescription for what a person "should" experience, or what benefits they "should" receive. Instead, it is a practice of developing a deepening relationship of reciprocity, in which the forest and the practitioner find a way to work together that supports the wholeness and wellness of eah. In Forest therapy, there is a clearly defined sequence of guided events that provides structure to the experience, while embracing the many opportunities for creativity and seredipity offered by the forest and the individual inspiration of each guide.
How it works:
A guide offers an invitation to connect with nature through the senses. Bringing awareness to our human senses can help us become present in the moment. Participants can expect a slow saunter through their environment with opportunities to share with others what they are noticing. Walks are short distance over natural surfaces and gentle terrain.
Our offering so far
TreeBaltimore strives to offer inclusive programming to enhance its overall citywide community engagement efforts. Since 2020, 214 people have been engaged at a public nature therapy walk. In partnership with BCRP's Therapeutic Recreation division, where “Recreation is for everyone,” we provide this new and emerging recreational opportunity for individuals with disabilities in specialized and inclusive environments. In the last two years, 100 people have been served over 16 nature therapy sessions.
These engagements include events at Cylburn Arboretum and Gwynns Falls-Leakin Park, as well as partnership events with neighborhood associations, faith communities, Nature Nurtures conference, Baltimore Green Space forest patches. Locations include Cylburn, GFLP, Hepp Park, Fairwood Forest, Stillmeadows Peace Park, Lafayette Square Park, Digital Harbor High School, and William S Baer School.
We have a few events coming up. Please visit the link below to register.
Tap into your senses and settle into the present moment while surrounded by nature. Participate in collective liberation through a nature immersive experience facilitated by BCRP's certified nature therapy guide. The walk is no longer than 1/4 mile in length on gentle terrain. Ages 12+ accompanied by an adult. Sign up at bit.ly/bcrpnaturewalk
Sundays March 26 and April 2
BOOK A PRIVATE WALK
Tap into your senses and settle into the present moment while surrounded by nature. Participate in collective liberation with a nature immersive experience facilitated by BCRP's certified Nature Therapy Guide. Book a weekday private group at least two weeks in advance by contacting Ted.Martello@baltimorecity.gov.