March 29, 2018 – Kawartha Conservation is launching a new Forest Bathing program this spring to help connect people across the watershed to nature and improve their physical and mental health.
Beginning April 28, Kristie Virgoe, Director of Stewardship and Conservation Lands, and a certified forest therapy guide, will be leading a new Forest Bathing program at four local conservation areas.
Forest Bathing is a practice based on mindfully connecting to the natural world. It is based on the Japanese practice of “shinrin- Yoku”.
“Forest Bathing can help with physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing,” said Ms. Virgoe. “The many benefits of spending time in nature include reduced stress, improved immune system functioning, and improved mood.
“Deepening our relationship with nature has other benefits as well,” she added. “It helps us to feel more content, to be more creative in how we approach challenges, and to feel more at ease.”
As more and more people are looking to connect to nature as a result of the health benefits, interest in Forest Bathing has grown locally.
There will be seven Forest Bathing sessions running from April 28 at Durham East Cross Forest (Devitts Road entrance), and concluding on Saturday, October 20, also at Durham East Cross Forest (Boundary Road entrance). Other sessions will be held at Ken Reid Conservation Area, May 26, July 31 and September 8, Windy Ridge Conservation Area on June 23 and Pigeon River Conservation Area on August 18.
“Everyone can benefit from a forest bathing experience,” said Ms. Virgo. “Our walks are slow paced (1- 1.5km over 3 hours) and accessible to most fitness abilities.”
Cost of the Forest Bathing sessions is $20 per person.