Forest Bathing Walks At KRUC
Given Covid 19, we have focussed on offering virtual forest bathing walks that engage participants in nature-connection from indoors, a backyard or favourite park while observing safety recommendations such as physical distancing. We are also offering an online contemplative nature photography workshop and have been posting regularly on our instagram account.
Our walks comprise one component of the Mindfulness Outreach Program at Kingston Road United Church. While these programs are not religious, they may promote physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. The Community Forest Bathing Walks Program is led by a volunteer Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide who is also a spiritual director, former professor and health researcher. Each walk involves talented and resourceful co-facilitators.
These slow-paced Forest Bathing Walks are designed to foster relaxation, fun, creativity, receptivity and connection to self, one another and the other-than-human world. The unique process utilized supports participants in developing a strong appreciation of nature and thereby a deep personal and social commitment to caring for the earth.
During the walk participants are presented with invitations, that they are free to modify, to support their connection to the natural world. There are also opportunities for people to share their experiences within a circle. The walk concludes with a tea ceremony made from elements of nature.
The walk also incorporates, at certain times, scientific research information about the many ways humans benefit from spending time in nature. Research has, for example, documented that nature-immersion reduces blood pressure, pain thresholds and stress hormones while increasing immune function, creativity and cognitive clarity. It can also contribute to an improved mood and sense of quality of life. Finally, of note, these nature-immersion experiences have been found to increase empathy towards others, making Community Forest Bathing Walks a perfect way to build caring communities.
We make an effort to promote the inclusion of people living with disability, chronic illness and/or age-related limitations. Non-disabled community members are welcome on all walks. Together, we create inclusive communities to care for ourselves, one another and the parks we love.
Parks we work in:
- Glen Stewart Ravine
- Kew Gardens Beaches Park
Things we do:
- community meals
- crafts/folk art
- environmental education
- nature walks
- visual arts
We're looking for volunteers in these areas:
- Regular volunteers
- Occasional volunteers