shinrin-yoku madison


Nature Connection: Forest Bathing and Exploring Wisconsin’s Scenic State Parks

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Celebrate Earth Day by attending this special health and wellness virtual lecture. Learn about nature’s health benefits, including the increasingly popular wellness practice of forest bathing, and beautiful places in Wisconsin to connect with nature.

Have you ever wondered why you feel so wonderful after digging in the garden, fishing a stream, soaking in the sun, watching the clouds drift by, hiking or just going for a long walk? Kate Bast, Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide (ANFT) will talk about forest bathing and the current research on nature connection as a pillar for a healthy life. The event will be informational and experiential, with a short, guided sensory opening.

Also, discover some beautiful locations you can visit to bond with nature. Missy VanLanduyt, Recreation Partnership Section Chief for the Wisconsin State Park System, will show you what our wonderful state parks have to offer – from favorite places and hidden gems, to outdoor recreation opportunities. We’ll take a trip around the state and explore remote beaches, wooded campgrounds, serene nature trails, and picturesque vistas.

Register in advance for this Zoom webinar series:


forest bathing + nature connection

What is Shinrin-yoku? In Japanese it means "forest bathing," or immersing oneself in the atmosphere of nature. The Japanese coined the term in the 1980s, but really, going to the land is an ancient practice embraced by cultures throughout history for healing and insights. 

It is not a hike (no cardio!). Nor is it a naturalist walk filled with facts and data, nor psychological therapy nor even mindfulness.

It is meditative. It is a slowing down and experiential noticing, your senses fully activated to drop you into a state of just beingness. 

Time in nature increases our creativity and focus, and softens rumination, anxiety and depression. 

It is also healing, with plentiful evidence-based research documenting the positive health benefits: lowered pulse rate and blood pressure, decreased stress hormones, increased Natural Killer cell response, improved immune function—and more. 

The positive effects last several days. 

The forest is the therapist. Nature provides the medicine each of us needs. The guide opens the door. 

"We need the tonic of wildness. ...We can have never enough of nature."—Henry David Thoreau

I will guide you on a
Shinrin-yoku walk to find 
the calm + the balm,
the meaning + the connection
with Nature—and yourself.

What You Need to Know
About Forest Bathing
with Kate
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© 2020 by Kate Bast LLC