Location: Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Great River, Long Island, NY
Timeframe: Autumn 2019 – Spring 2020
Dates: Weekly; Thursdays, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Connect Kids to Parks was designed to provide a safe and enjoyable way to connect youth with nature. Linda Lombardo and (DBA) LI Forest Walks exists as the only certified Forest Therapy provider on Long Island, NY currently, with the purpose of making nature personal again; supporting programs that connect our population to the natural world and deepen our understanding of our connection to the natural world.
Recognizing the need for programs both educational and expressive is part of the protocol of a Forest Therapy experience. Connection is made through ‘invitations’ designed to activate curiosity and awareness:
- Educational: To understand the system of a forest, park or preserve and the diverse forms of life found there; to see the wholeness of nature and the role and importance of every being, large or small; to realize our responsibility within this whole we call nature
- Expressive: ‘Naming isn’t the same as knowing’ – Always with safety in mind, Forest Therapy walks include touching the bark of trees, singing with birds or searching for hearts and other shapes in the rocks beneath our feet, making forest art and other creative expressions; to gain more awareness of nature and learn to respect it
- Community: The use of talking circles to share experience teaches community, respect and patience; it also teaches ‘creating from’ others experience. Drinks and snacks at the end of the walk are to be provided by the school or parents.
- Regenerative: A break from all the electronic devices children are exposed to on a daily basis
- Reminder: to slow down, observe, and engage cognitive function
- Impact: Teaching ‘beyond leave no trace’ that our presence has an impact on nature and other environments
For more information please contact Linda Lombardo, CPCC, Certified Forest Therapy Guide via email!
ABOUT YOUR FOREST GUIDE
LI Forest Walks founder and guide, Linda Lombardo, is certified through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, an international community of forest therapy guides founded in 2012 in Sonoma County, CA. The ANFT combines elements of the Japanese Shinrin-Yoku, Zen meditation, psychotherapy, educational consulting and nature connection in their certification program and protocol.
Linda Lombardo is also a certified life coach through the Coaches Training Institute since 2001.
Additional background includes a current NOLS Wilderness First Aid certification and American Red Cross CPR training; all active certifications. Liability Insurance information is available upon request.
What is Forest Therapy or Forest Bathing?
Forest Bathing is a gentle, guided walk through a forest or other natural, healing setting that supports well-being through sensory immersion. It’s not a naturalist walk; it’s not a power-walk or a hike. It’s a way to become part of the nature-moment, guided through a series of invitations that open the senses, focus attention and restore a calm and peaceful feeling. It’s about being alive in all your senses and trusting that the forest and other landscapes upon which you wander hold something good for you.
What is its Importance in the World Right Now?
Another name for Forest Bathing is Shinrin-Yoku. It began in Japan in the 1980’s. It has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing. The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs in the US has its own version of Shinrin-Yoku, designed for a more Western culture that is fast-paced and highly stressful these days. We’ve forgotten that we are connected to nature and each other. This is a gentle, compassionate reminder of both along with all the associated health benefits.
Research shows that Forest Bathing or Forest Therapy can benefit as follows:
- • Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body’s Natural Killer (NK) cells.
- • Reduced blood pressure
- • Reduced stress
- • Improved mood
- • Increased ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- • Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
- • Increased energy level
- • Improved sleep
- • Better cognitive function before meetings or tests
- • Increased flow of energy
- • Increased ability to relate to the land and its species
- • Deepening of friendships
- • Overall increase in sense of happiness
Forest Therapy is finding its way into schools around the world as a way to teach children respect for our natural world as well as provide relief from the stresses and technology that today’s children face. Too much time indoors creates an imbalance that may even create a fear of the natural world. Long Island Forest Walks’ programs at arboretums helps children reconnect with the safety of a cultivated environment that provides enough ‘wild’ to introduce children to this precious resource.
What is the age range for this program?
Programs will be customized for ages 7 and up.
What is the cost of this program?
FOR SCHOOLS: Please apply for a grant from New York State Parks, Connect Kids to Parks Field Trip Grant program. For contact information please click here.
Open to parameters of the Connect Kids to Parks program. Payment is expected after completion of each facilitated Forest Therapy experience, with the one-time costs included in the first payment.
Cost Components and Proposal
- Labor/Fee for Services Rendered: Pre-program visits to program site to map trails and invitations based on age group and number of participants. This occurs for every walk.
- Cost of any Subcontractors: based on number of participants; if participant enrollment exceeds 20, even with “1 teacher or parent to 5 students” support from the schools, one additional forest therapy guide is required to consistently meet safety and quality standards. Groups larger than 40 are not recommended.
|FEE FOR SVC
(UP TO 20 Students)
1 Guide Required
|FEE FOR SVC
(20 – 40 Students)
2 Guides Required
|End of Walk
|1-2 Pre-program site visit(s)||$100||$100|
|Program Facilitation 2 Hours + Set Up Time||$250||$400||All drinks and snacks must be provided by the school or parents.|