In collaboration with a Certified Forest Therapy guide and the City of Portland Parks Division, we are creating a self-led, accessible forest bathing trail in the urban forest of Baxter Woods in Portland, Maine. This self-guided forest immersion provides an alternative and accessible way for people of all ages, abilities, and socio-economic statuses to enjoy this urban conservation land. Forest Bathing is a slow walk on a flat, easy path where prompts are given to interact and observe the forest setting; as a practice, it provides benefits to our immune system and mental health, and a deeper connection to the natural world around us. Our goal is to facilitate the opportunity for the community to benefit from this kind of therapy for free. In order to implement the project, the project partners will host a live forest therapy event (by donation) where we will record the guided prompts at several stops along the trail. The forest bathing trail will then be marked using eco-printed art flags and detectable warning rods. As visitors encounter the trail, they will be able to stop and read the prompts printed on the flags or use a QR code to directly access the audio recording of the forest therapy guide giving the prompt. The trail information will be provided online through the City's public art website as well with embossed/braille maps provided at the trailhead. The park is also accessible by multiple modes near walkable residential neighborhood, city transit stops, and bike infrastructure.
What our grantee is saying: "I am thrilled and filled with gratitude for the support and recognition of the Awesome Foundation for the Baxter Woods Forest Bath trail installation. With this grant, we will be able to make the project accessible to more Portland residents and visitors who can better enjoy this natural resource in our city. Receiving an Awesome Foundation grant for the Baxter Woods Forest Bath trail is a gratifying recognition of my pursuit of creative connections between urban dwellers and natural resources."
Funded by Disability (May 2021)