Forest Immersion

 Walking, Viewing, Listening, Breathing, Knowing & Being 

Outdoor Learning Project Fall 2018 & Spring 2019   

Forest Healing Handout

Print out this handout to take with you on your guided nature walk, so you can take notes on any interesting facts, features, or details that catch your eye!

Life

 

Guider

Forests are optimal destinations for scouts, campers, and tourists. It is both safer and merrier to go on a trip in the forest with others. Our guided forest walks will provide you with a chance to bond with other locals of varied ages and backgrounds. You will have the opportunity to learn about the relationship Indigenous cultures have had with the forests since thousands of years ago, and reflect on how forests shape various other cultures today.

According to forest researcher Raphael Zon, civilizations all over the world have had complicated relationships with forests. Cultures have had to overcome forests, succeeded in dominating forests and succumbed to the domination of forests (Zon). But the relationship between humans and forests doesn’t merely consist of tension either, as you will learn from examples of Indigenous cultures. To many societies, forests are a space of sanctity where spiritual and religious beliefs come into being. Ancient Romans both feared forests for the dangers lurking within them, and had a great amount of respect for them. After all, the mythical founders of Rome - Romulus and Remus - were said to have been raised by a she-wolf in a forest!

From the earliest days of humanity, trees have often been compared to life. We use trees in a variety of metaphors that represent continuity and possibility: family trees, genealogical trees, probability tree diagrams… What better way to appreciate life than a trek among life-giving trees?

 

Aboriginal people, great philosophers, scientists, and artists alike have been inspired while wandering deep into the woods. Friedrich Nietzsche, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Charles Darwin, and Charles Dickens are only some examples. Forests are a great place for thinking, unwinding, and receiving whatever unexpected surprise nature has to offer.

 

No wight is seen in the lonely hills round here,

But whence is wafting the human voice I hear?

So deep in the forest the sunset glow can cross

That it seems to choose to linger on the moss.

"Hut in the Deer Grounds,” Wang Wei (740 CE)

As spaces of undiscriminating refuge and wonder, British Columbia’s forests are a shared wealth that connects all who live among it. Come together to share your forest pride!

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Debra Sparrow

Musqeuam Weaver

Musqueam Park Trails

Tuesday, September XX, 2018

60 minute guided walk

Free & Open to all ages and abilities

 

Starting location: Alma St. & 48 Ave

Free car parking available nearby  

Musqueam Park Trails

Tuesday, September  XX, 2018

60 minute guided walk

Free & Open to all ages and abilities

 

Starting location: Alma St. & 48 Ave

Free car parking available nearby  

Musqueam Park Trails

Tuesday, September X, 2018

60 minute guided walk

FREE & Open to all ages and abilities

 

Starting location: Alma St. & 48 Ave

Free car parking available nearby  

Forests: a place to explore and imagine

There is mystery in a forest, it is a world not ordered by people. Forests invite us to explore and they create space for our imagination. Stories and fantasies are often set in forests: consider  Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Narnia, The Hobbit and many more. From medieval romances to contemporary fiction, forests are a place of adventure, of the unknown and possible danger, of mystery and magic, exploration and play. And no one is ever too old to be thus enchanted!

 

Children and youth who have the freedom to play in forests often grow up to become observant, creative, and independent - as well as aware and caring of our earth. Why would we as adults cease such nourishing growth?  Why would we limit ourselves when the forest calls with its possibilities!

 

Forests are  more than a healthy place for our bodies, for hiking, jogging or bicycling.  We can learn about how complex systems work as we discover the ecosystems. We can engage our souls through sketching, photography, poetry, and simply meditative observation.  We can refresh our very being in the vibrancy of the forest.

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Dr. Pille Bunnell

Ecologist  

Systems Biology 

Guider

Dr. Pille Bunnell

Ecologist

Systems Biology

Pacific Spirit Park Trails

Fall 2018

Pacific Spirit Park Trails

Spring 2019

Pacific Spirit Park Trails

Spring 2019

Health: Explore the Ecological Diversity

Guider

Forests are vital to billions of lifeforms on Earth. On top of providing oxygen, trees remove carbon dioxide and pollutants (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide, ozone) from the atmosphere, through which they help slow the progression of climate change. According to the average calculated by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, "one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.” In addition, trees cool the city by up to 10°F by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands,” and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.

In Japan, and in various parts of Asia, a walk in the forest is known as shinrinyoku (森林浴) - “forest-bathing.” Indeed, forest walks are nourishing in a multitude of ways. Studies have found a higher instance of psychological problems among city-dwellers with little access to green spaces than people living near parks. Furthermore, city-dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside. A study conducted by Bratman et al. (2015) further suggests that people with depressive symptoms spend less time on pessimistic brooding (morbid rumination) during walks in forests. Bratman’s study, along with many others, support the idea that “spending time within a forest setting can reduce psychological stress, depressive symptoms, and feelings of hostility, while at the same time improve sleep quality and increase both vigour and a feeling of liveliness. These subjective changes match up nicely with objective results reported in nearly a dozen studies involving 24 forests — lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure and pulse rate” (Mother Earth News).

 

Aside from improving mental health problems, studies have suggested that forest walks can improve cognitive functions, especially in younger children when the theme of nature is integrated in their education (Sobel). Other sources indicate that walks in forests can be helpful for weight-loss, lowering blood pressure, and improving self-esteem.

Robin Clark

Professional Registered Forester

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Pacific Spirit Park Trails

Sunday September 30

10am - 11:30am

90 minute guided walk

Free & Open to all ages and abilities

Max: up to 14 participants

Starting location: 4915 W 16th Ave (at the Park Centre on 16th Ave)

Free car parking available   

Camosun Bog Walk

To be announced

From:

Pacific Spirit Park

Sunday November 25, 2018 

10am - 11:30am

90 minute guided walk

Free & Open to all ages and abilities

Max: up to 14 participants

Starting location: 4915 W 16th Ave (at the Park Centre on 16th Ave)

Free car parking available   

Registration Information

Registration opens one month before and closes 2 days before each event. Register online or contact vial email (contact@myvacs.org) or text/call 778-987-4490. Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. 

How to Prepare for Your Visit

Please wear appropriate clothing to suit the season. Dressing in layers and wearing closed-toed footwear is recommended. Events are held rain or shine.