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Forest Therapy walk with Wild Philadelphia

Join fellow Fairmount Park Conservancy members for a Forest Therapy walk with Wild Philadelphia.


Sunday, October 18, 2020


9:30am - 12:00pm

October 18th 9:00am-11:00am
Boxers’ Trail


From Wild Philadelphia:

What can you expect from Forest Therapy?

Your trained guide will take you through a relaxing sequence of invitations to help you engage with the land through all of your senses. As we move through each invitation, there will also be time to share with the group, to help us re-engage our deep listening skills. The walk will conclude with a special tea ceremony, with tea and snacks for all.

We will cover less than a mile, and the walk will not include strenuous activity. Participants will be standing and sitting for periods up to 20 minutes, and we will cover some uphill terrain. You’ll receive an email prior to the event detailing where to arrive/park, what you should bring, and anything else you need to know. Walks take place with light rain or shine, but will be canceled in the event of severe inclement weather. This walk is recommended for adults ages 16+.

What is Forest Therapy?

“Unlike hiking, Forest Therapy is not a practice of exertion, but of slowing down and reconnecting. It is an intentionally structured, accessible experience that takes us out of our thinking brains, and into our senses in the present moment.

The roots of Forest Therapy as practiced by Wild Philadelphia begin with the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, or “forest bathing.” This standard preventative health practice in Japan, refers to “bathing” in the beneficial chemicals emitted by trees, which research has shown to provide a myriad of health and wellness benefits. In 2012, M. Amos Clifford founded the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy (ANFT) here in the US. Amos combined elements of Japanese forest bathing with his four decades of experience in wilderness guiding, Zen meditation, psychotherapy, and educational consulting, to create a framework for “Forest Therapy” – the version of nature connection increasingly practiced here in the US.

Forest Therapy walks have been shown to:

  • reduce stress
  • lower cortisol levels
  • reduce blood pressure
  • increase the production of disease-fighting Natural Killer (NK) cells
  • increase energy
  • improve sleep and mood

The ANFT style of Forest Therapy builds on those benefits and looks beyond – to 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.

Nature and Forest Therapy is a powerful antidote to the stresses of an industrialized, rapidly urbanizing society, where busyness is often used as a measure of worth. It can help us to heal our imbalanced relationships with time, with each other, and with ourselves.”