Feeling stressed, worried or just fed up with the gloomy news?  It may feel intuitive, but being in nature is good for you. FOCI, Folk U, and CKTZ have joined forces to create our very own ‘Nature is Good for You’ series to inspire you to get out, connect with nature and refresh mind, body and soul!

This series aired live on the Friday Folk U Talk Show from 1 to 3 p.m. at CKTZ 89.5 FM in May and are now available as podcasts.

May 1

Early birds – From the Dawn Chorus to All-day Twitcher

This is a fabulous time of year to hear the dawn chorus and to listen for bird calls, as birds are establishing territories or trying to attract a mate. The result is an amazing orchestra of bird song, right on your doorstep every morning. It’s free and all you have to do is roll out of bed a little early, sit back and listen! It’s a wonderful way to start the day!

We’re delighted to be hosting our very own Dawn Chorus and numerous other Cortes bird songs on CKTZ with local twitcher Corry Dow. Join us to hear Cortes birds and listen while Corry describes who to listen out for and how to tell your towhees from your flickers. We will also hear from Helen Hall who will to introduce our Nature is Good for You Series, and talk about ways to stay engaged with nature on Cortes right now.

May 8

Folk Medicine: How to make your own herbal medicines from nature

Learning what you can do at home to take care of your own health is the basis of folk herbalism (vs clinical herbalism). Home herbalist Yulia Kochubievsky will inspire and empower listeners to take responsibility for their own health with the particular tools of folk herbal medicine. She will share specific herb suggestions, how to make your own medicine, and we will discuss where to find and how to grow your own herbs.

May 15

FOCI Species at Risk on Cortes and How We Can Support Them

Cortes Island has a wealth of wildlife including a large number of species at risk: from the great blue heron to the western toad. Autumn will let us know more about some of these species on Cortes and how we can help support them.

May 22

Why Being in Nature is so Good For You

Most of us sense that being in nature is good for us.  Many of us feel more relaxed and at ease in a natural setting. There is now a wealth of research showing that being in nature has real quantifiable health benefits – everything from coping with stress to recovering from illness.

Join Helen Hall, FOCI’s Executive Director who will discuss some of the research, and our instinctive need for nature.

May 29

The Alchemy of Forest Bathing” with Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Sobhana

We invite you to join Sobhana Dilani Hippola, a certified forest therapy guide, to find out more about this inspiring practice that supports healing and wellness though immersion in forests and other natural environments. Forest therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing”. Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, including benefits to cardiovascular and immune function as well as mental and emotional well-being. This practice, as taught by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT), builds on those benefits and looks beyond, to what happens when people remember that we are a part of nature, not separate from it.

Certified ANFT Guides typically offer guided group forest therapy walks that are approximately 2-4 hours long. In these times of physical distancing, Sobhana has offered us an adapted guided forest therapy walk recording which you can download and take with you to practice on your own in a forest near you. This recorded walk takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Before you head out on the walk, please listen to the first few minutes of the recording where Sobhana lists some practical matters and things you’ll need to bring with you on the walk.

Additional Resources:

For more information on forest therapy or to share your experience of the guided walk, please contact sobhana@forestawakenings.com.

You may also wish to visit the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy website at https://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/ or pick up Amos Clifford’s book: “Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature”.