A nature walk can be very relaxing, and Urbana Park District is offering a series of Forest Sensory Walks at Anita Purves Nature Center this spring.
The walks are for people age 15 and up and run from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. on:
- Wednesday, February 26
- Tuesday, March 17
- Monday, March 30
- Friday, May 1
“These walks are in the spirit of what is called forest bathing, or Shinrin-Yoku, which is the Japanese practice of taking in the atmosphere of the forest with therapeutic effects,” said Savannah Donovan, Environmental Public Program Coordinator. She added, “The walks tend to focus on multi-sensory experiences and leave participants feeling relaxed and refreshed.”
Forest bathing is not only good for the soul, it can be good for the body. “Researchers have been studying the effects of forest bathing since it first became popular in the 1980s, so there is actually a lot of scientific literature on the health benefits. There are so many health benefits including reduced blood pressure and cortisol levels, boosted immune system, improved sleep and mood, and increased energy,” Donovan explained.
It costs $10 for residents and $15 for non-residents if they register two weeks before the walk.
The walks are open to people of all abilities and Donovan hopes to see many people enjoying the walks. She concluded, “The goal is that participants leave feeling happy and rejuvenated!”