Our nature preserves are open to the public 365 days per year from sunrise to sunset, providing natural places that offer peace and respite for all. Willistown Conservation Trust owns and manages Hartman Meadow, Ashbridge, Kirkwood, Kestrel Hill and Rushton Woods Preserves. We maintain these lands to preserve and enhance … Learn more about our nature preserves.
Forest Bathing with Holly Merker
The lush and thoughtfully stewarded landscapes and garden at Rushton Farm provide the perfect backdrop for reaping the wellness benefits that nature offers.
With origins inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku, Forest Bathing or Forest Therapy, harnesses the health and restorative benefits the natural world holds for us. This experience will be a bit different than a traditional outdoor guided walk, not focusing on sharing naturalist knowledge or identification, but instead allowing the forest and birds to intentionally guide us into slowing our pace by a skilled leader who is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide.
With a framework of guided “invitations” centering around biodiversity and the forest, we will deepen our connections to nature by engaging the senses, noticing, and awakening our experience of reciprocity with the natural world. A tea ceremony will be included to culminate the experience as we celebrate the summer landscapes and the forest. Forest Bathing can be calming, contemplative, mindful, revealing, soothing, awe inspiring, and more. Any skill level is welcome. This is a great way to celebrate late summer and boost your well-being.
Accessibility information: This program has been developed for most all mobility levels. In tradition with Forest Bathing principals, this will be a slow-paced walk on wide and flat unpaved trails that will include gathering time where we’ll sit and sometimes stand, for short periods of time. Easy parking and indoor restrooms are on site.
What to bring: For this program, binoculars are not necessary, but also not discouraged. Please bring sun protection (suggestions: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses) and water to hydrate. A yoga mat that is easy to carry, or a small camping stool, are helpful and some will be provided by the instructor for you to borrow.
Consider dressing for the elements and conditions: sturdy closed-toe shoes, layers, wind/rain jacket, etc.