Kingston – The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) recently introduced an innovative new Forest Therapy Walk program, and will be offering a new slate of public sessions throughout the winter and spring of 2017-2018.
The practice of Forest Therapy was recently founded through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides, based in California. The founders of this mindful, healing and connective practice were inspired by the Japanese practice of “Shinrin-yoku” which translates as “forest bathing.” Research has determined that spending time in nature not only strengthens the human immune response and reduces stress, but also makes us more creative, mindful, and content in our lives.
Sessions will take place on the following dates: Dec. 1, Jan. 16, Feb. 24, March 24, April 7 and May 26. All take place at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area from 1 to 3:30 p.m. except for the walk on March 24, which takes place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $20 per person.
Our Forest Therapy Walks will be guided by the CRCA’s Senior Conservation Educator, Stana Luxford Oddie who is accredited by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Luxford Oddie has more than two decades of experience connecting people of all ages to nature.
A Forest Therapy Walk is a slow and mindful experience that can combine walking, sitting, standing or laying down. Everything is an invitation, so participants are invited to do what feels most comfortable to them. An entire Forest Therapy Walk experience will be no longer than one kilometre, and can last between two to three hours depending on the requirements and desires of the participants.
Everyone can benefit from Forest Therapy Walks such as, but not limited to, people recovering from illness, youth, active military personnel, veterans, people coping from loss, students, professionals, parents, people looking to better their mental health, first responders and seniors – anyone who is looking to de-stress, slow down, heal and connect with nature.
Group, retreat, and private, one-on-one Forest Walks are also available. You can find further information on bookings at www. crca.ca/education/forest-therapy-walks/.