RELEASE — Cataraqui Conservation is adding an interesting twist to its ground-breaking Forest Therapy Walks program. On Nov. 25, we are presenting our first ever four-legged walk, allowing participants to bring their dog along to experience a unique forest bathing experience.
This is our first Forest Therapy with your dog walk experience inspired by Forest Therapy pioneer Nadine Mazzola and her book “Forest Bathing with Your Dog”. Cataraqui Conservation’s certified Forest Therapy Guide Stana Luxford Oddie, and her puppy, Theo, together will guide you with your four-legged friend. Your time in the forest will be a chance to deepen your relationship with yourself, others, the more-than-human world, and your dog.
This special walk with your dog will take place at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area on Wednesday, Nov. 25, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., with pre-registration required. A second Forest Therapy walk with your dog will take place on Wednesday Dec. 09.
Please note that this experience is not a training course or a play group. It helps if you have let your dog do a little running around at home before arriving, so they get their ‘zoomies’ out. A Forest Therapy walk experience is a mindful way of being in your senses and present with all that is around you. This is an opportunity to engage with your dog’s natural ways to support you into the practice of Forest Therapy. Your dog must be able to get along with other dogs, be on a long leash at all times and you must pick up their droppings. This experience might be different then other Forest Therapy walk experiences since we have brought in the energy of our four-legged friends.
Cataraqui Conservation continues its innovative and immersive Forest Therapy Walks program, as a way of encouraging area residents to reconnect with nature in a deeper, more meaningful way.
The practice of Forest Therapy was 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. It may also inspire an environmental ethic that leads to positive changes in our behaviour, and a decreasing personal impact.
Regular Forest Therapy Walk public sessions are set for Friday, Nov. 27 (Green Friday instead of Black Friday!), from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., a ‘Giving Tuesday’ Walk on Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., on Thursday, Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and a firelight Forest Therapy Evening Walk on Dec. 10, all at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area.
Private, one-on-one Forest Walks are also available. You can fill out a special booking form that will request information about any special needs or requests and sign up a personalized walk with our guide.
For more information on Cataraqui Conservation’s Forest Therapy Walk Program, or to sign up for either the public sessions or a private session, visit crca.ca/education/foresttherapy.