If you encounter issues loading this site, please refresh the page by using Ctrl + F5 if on Windows or Cmd + Shift + R if on Mac.

Adult Opportunities

Forest Therapy Walks

Find peace in nature with the practice of forest bathing.

Content Detail

Experience the healing and wellness-promoting effects of shinrin-yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest.

Awaken your senses and reconnect with nature during these mindful walks with a certified forest therapy guide. No two walks are the same; visit different locations at The Morton Arboretum and enjoy a variety of awareness-raising exercises.

On the walk, experience a series of guided, gentle invitations to open the senses, cultivate presence, and invite healing interactions between people and the natural world. To finish, enjoy a closing ceremony with tea made from plants foraged from the forest.

Two-hour and three-hour walks are available.

This program meets in person at the Arboretum.

Instructor: Retta Hennessy, certified forest therapy guide and early childhood programs assistant, The Morton Arboretum; Beth Bengtson, certified forest therapy guide and education program guide, The Morton Arboretum; Jeanne Iovinelli, certified forest therapy guide

Age: 16 and older

Course number: WELL008, WELL016

Retta Hennessy, certified nature and forest therapy guide, The Morton Arboretum

Retta Hennessy is a certified forest therapy guide, completing her training at The Morton Arboretum in 2017. She has been on staff at The Children’s Garden as program assistant at The Morton Arboretum since 2008. She is a long-time early childhood educator with a master’s in education; she is also a master naturalist. The Arboretum has enabled her to share a love of teaching and nature with people of all ages. She believes the Arboretum provides a path for everyone to experience the beauty and healing opportunities that nature offers.

Jeanne Iovinelli, certified nature and forest therapy guide, The Morton Arboretum

Jeanne Iovinelli became a certified forest therapy guide in January 2019. She was trained under Amos Clifford, the founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Kenwood, CA. She has enjoyed nature throughout her life and has been visiting The Morton Arboretum since early childhood. She is also a volunteer at The Morton Arboretum with Tuesdays in the Tallgrass.

Beth Bengtson, certified nature and forest therapy guide, The Morton Arboretum

Beth Bengtson is a certified forest therapy guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT). She has also been an education program guide at the Arboretum since 2008, teaching nature education programs for youth and adults in both lab and outdoor settings. She has certifications in natural history and N-ACT (Natural Areas Conservation Training) through The Morton Arboretum. She works with a volunteer steward group restoring the Arboretum’s East Prairie, and she leads students and youth volunteers on natural areas restoration projects. She has a BA in English from the University of Iowa and, prior to entering the field of nature education, worked professionally as a writer and editor. She still enjoys writing freelance and personal projects. Her work has been published in literary journals and various print and online publications.

What to Know

Held entirely outdoors, rain or shine.

Check the weather and dress for the forecast.

Walks are at a slow, gentle pace with frequent stops.

Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes.

Sunglasses and a mat to sit on are optional.

Program Schedule

Two-Hour Forest Therapy Walks

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

WELL008-H: Saturday, June 17, 2023, with Retta Hennessy

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

WELL008-I: Friday, July 21, 2023, with Beth Bengtson

WELL008-J: Friday, July 28, 2023, with Retta Hennessy

WELL008-K: Friday, August 4, 2023, with Jeanne Iovinelli



Three-Hour Forest Therapy Walks

9:00 a.m. to noon 

WELL016-F: Friday, May 26, 2023, with Jeanne Iovinelli (Big Rock Visitor Station)

WELL016-G: Saturday, June 10, 2023, with Beth Bengtson

WELL016-H: Friday, June 16, 2023, with Jeanne Iovinelli

WELL016-I: Saturday, July 15, 2023, with Jeanne Iovinelli

WELL016-J: Saturday, September 9, 2023, with Retta Hennessy

WELL016-K: Saturday, September 23, 2023, with Beth Bengtson


Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift