Adult Programs

Forest Therapy Walks (in person)

Experience the healing and wellness-promoting effects of forest bathing.

Content Detail

Experience the healing and wellness-promoting effects of forest bathing.

Shinrin-Yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest, can awaken your senses and reconnect you with nature during 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. 

“’Forest bathing’ suggests to me a more casual experience among the trees, unburdened by expectations, oriented to simple pleasures.”  – Amos Clifford, Your Guide to Forest Bathing

Two-Hour Forest Therapy Walk

On the two-hour walk, you will experience a series of guided, gentle invitations to open the senses, cultivate presence, and invite healing interactions between people and the natural world. Conclude with a tea ceremony, with tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail.  

Three-Hour Forest Therapy Walk

On the three-hour walk, you will experience a series of guided, gentle invitations to open the senses and cultivate presence, with more time to deepen the healing interactions between people and the natural world. Conclude with a tea ceremony, with tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail.  

This program meets on-site at the Arboretum.

Instructors: Laura Kamedulski, certified nature and forest therapy guide; Retta Hennessy, certified nature and forest therapy guide; Jeanne Iovinelli, certified nature and forest therapy guide; Beth Bengtson, certified nature and forest therapy guide

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently. 

Age: 16 and older

Two-Hour Forest Therapy Walk: #WELL008

Three-Hour Forest Therapy Walk: #WELL016

Laura Kamedulski, certified nature and forest therapy guide

Laura Kamedulski is the coordinator for youth and family programs at The Morton Arboretum, where she leads programs for early childhood ages and supervises youth volunteers. She was certified as a forest therapy guide in 2017 by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, and she leads Forest Therapy walks at The Morton Arboretum. She enjoys helping people connect with trees, nature, and the land. She is passionate about urban places too, having formerly worked at the Chicago History Museum. She is a long-time board member of the Maxwell Street Foundation, dedicated to the history of the old Maxwell Street Market area in Chicago. Laura has a BA in psychology with a business minor from the University of Iowa and an MA in United States history with a minor in Mexican history from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Retta Hennessy, certified nature and forest therapy guide

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 and a master naturalist. The Arboretum has enabled her to share a love of teaching and nature with people of all ages. “I believe 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

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

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.

  • Held entirely outdoors, rain or shine. Walks are at a slow, gentle pace with frequent stops.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Dressing in layers will help keep you comfortable for extended time outdoors.
  • Bring insect and sun protection and a water bottle.
  • Sunglasses and a mat or towel to sit on are optional.

Two-Hour Forest Therapy Walks, 9 to 11 a.m.

Section K: Friday, August 12, 2022, with Beth Bengtson at Parking Lot 29

Section L: Friday, September 9, 2022, with  Retta Hennessey at Parking Lot 29

Two-Hour Forest Therapy Walks, 1 to 3 p.m.
(Open for registration on September 1).

Section A: Monday, October 17, 2022, with Laura Kamedulski at Big Rock Visitor Station (Parking Lot 13)

Section B: Friday, October 28, 2022, with Retta Hennessy at Parking Lot 29

Section C: Friday, November 11, 2022, with Retta Hennessy at Big Rock Visitor Station (Parking Lot 13)

Section D: Monday, December 12, 2022, with Laura Kamedulksi at Thornhill Shelter (Parking Lot 21)

Three-Hour Forest Therapy Walks, 9 a.m. to noon

Section F: Saturday, August 6, 2022, with Beth Bengtson at Parking Lot 29

Section G: Saturday, September 10, 2022, with Jeanne Iovinelli at Parking Lot 29

Section H: Saturday, September 24, 2022, with Jeanne Iovinelli at Parking Lot 29

Three-Hour Forest Therapy Walks, 9 a.m. to noon
(Open for registration on September 1).

Section A: Saturday, October 22, 2022, with Jeanne Iovinelli at Big Rock Visitor Station (Parking Lot 13)

Section B: Saturday, October 29, 2022, with Beth Bengtson at Parking Lot 29

Section C: Saturday, November 5, 2022, with  Jeanne Iovinelli  at Parking Lot 29

Section D: Saturday, November 12, 2022, with Beth Bengtson at Big Rock Visitor Station (Parking Lot 13)

Section E: Saturday, December 10, 2022, with Jeanne Iovinelli at Thornhill Shelter (Parking Lot 21)

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