Healing Trees Maui Guides Scholarship Fund

I was inspired to create “Healing Trees: A Series of Free Forest Bathing Walks for Maui" as a response to last year's tragic wildfires. The series brings the mindfulness practice of forest bathing to the residents of Maui, many who are experiencing"the worst mental health disaster in our state's modern history." Healing Trees launched in March and will conclude on Arbor Day, November 2024, The monthly events in Maui's beautiful green spaces are free, with the option to donate to the scholarship fund.

What is forest bathing?
Forest bathing originated in Japan in the 1980s as a public health measure to address an epidemic of stress-related diseases caused by the country’s rapid urbanization. A growing body of scientific evidence since then has demonstrated that spending time immersed in forested areas or other natural settings has wide-ranging health benefits for body, mind, and spirit. On walks facilitated by forest therapy guides, participants are invited to engage with the environment with their senses, interact with others in the small group, and spend time in quiet contemplation.

Community impact: guide training
Besides serving those affected by the fires this year, another goal of the Healing Trees series is to attract and enlist several Maui residents interested in training to become certified forest therapy guides. The training will be conducted by the leading international organization in the field, the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (www.anft.earth). The intention is for these locally based new guides to continue to support their community's ongoing recovery from the recent trauma with facilitated experiences in nature..

We have already received interest from 11 service-minded individuals and want to encourage these Mauians to begin the first part of their training (6 months online) as soon as possible. By doing so, they will be in position to participate in the 2nd part of the training (in-person) in May 2025 -- on Maui for the FIRST TIME!

Ֆինանսավորված Oahu, HI կողմից (May 2024)