Forest Therapy with Wild Philadelphia

By Fairmount Park Conservancy (other events)

5 Dates Through Dec 19, 2020

IMPORTANT UPDATE 3/13:  Effective immediately, all Conservancy events are canceled or postponed through April 27, 2020.  

As COVID-19 cases spread in our region, we wanted to let you know that Fairmount Park Conservancy takes this matter seriously. The health and well-being of Conservancy staff, partners, and community members are of the utmost priority to us. 

We will contact all ticket buyers with updates in the coming weeks. For more information, please read:  

If you have any questions about membership, please contact Marketing and Membership Manager Sara Hirschler at [email protected] 


Join fellow Fairmount Park Conservancy members for a series of Forest Therapy walks with Jess Gregan or Anisa George of Wild Philadelphia

This event is $10 for members of Fairmount Park Conservancy and $15 for non-members. 

Sunday, April 19: Horticulture Center 11:15am-1:15pm
Saturday, May 16: (Love Your Park Week): Trolley Trail 10:30am-12:30pm 
Saturday, July 25: Horticulture Center 10:30am-12:30pm
Saturday, December 19: Boxers' Trail 10:30am-12:30pm

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. Jess received her training through the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy (ANFT), which weaves together forest bathing and elements of Jungian psychology, deep ecology, and conservation ethics, to create a unique practice that can help shift the way humanity perceives its place in the natural world.

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.