to see the wholeness in nature as a regenerative system
to see the role and importance of every being, big or small
to experience being part of nature; gaining more awareness, information and learning in order to respect and protect it
to realize their responsibility within this whole
We learn best through games and hands-on experience:
the certified guide is a proven facilitator
activities are designed for the age group and the location
What does a Forest Therapy walk for children entail?
An orientation about the walk
Presencing and opening the senses
Invitations designed for the age group and location
These invitations point to the experience but don’t tell the students what to experience
Community sharing of experiences during the walk
Snacks and drinks (provided by the parents or school)
How long is the walk? The length of the walk is based on the age of the children. Walks are approximately 2 hours in length with shorter walks available for younger children and can be customized in length, if requested.
What is the size of the group? With one certified guide, the children can number up to 20. Over 20 children, a second certified forest therapy guide is required.
What is expected of the school or parent organization? A 1 teacher or parent to 5 students ratio is ideal. This allows the experiences to be more personal with the teachers and parents supporting the certified guide throughout the walk.
What are some of the invitations we can expect? Some of the invitations might include:
Meet a tree (an individual activity)
Build a tree (a group activity, learning and embodying the parts of a tree)
Sounds of nature (an individual and group activity – all ages)
Land art or Forest Floor Art (a group activity)
Round Talk (a group activity for older youth to present and share opinion about the environment and environmental issues)
Scavenger hunts – experiential or tactile
Finding worlds within worlds (a slowing down and noticing experience)
When and where is this program available? Forest Eco-Therapy walks for schools are currently available through Bayard Cutting Arboretum and a Connect Kids to Parks grant. Please contact Bayard Cutting Arboretum for details at 1-631-581-1002. Start time is typically 10:30 am or based on the travel time requirements of the school.
Forest Eco-Therapy for non-school programs (home schooled groups, summer camps, youth programs or private family walks) may be arranged at any location through Long Island Forest Walks at 516-238-0059 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public family walks are scheduled monthly at the Center for Environmental Education and Discovery (C.E.E.D.) in Brookhaven. I offer a sliding scale based on the ages of the children to make it more affordable for families. Register here: Family forest walks at C.E.E.D.
What else should I know? These walks are designed to be easy and effortless. There is always the chance of someone getting injured through no fault of the location or the guide. Your certified guide is NOLS Wilderness First Aid trained and should be apprised of any special health needs before the walk begins. Waivers will be required prior to the event; available upon booking your Forest Therapy experience.
We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children a love for this Earth and to tell its story. These are the moments where the world is made whole.