Colorful Changes in Nature and Forest Therapy

  • The National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc. will present another in its series of virtual workshops and training programs on

    August 17, 2021 2:00 pm-4:00 pm.

    Colorful Changes in Nature and Forest Therapy: Increasing Opportunities for Diverse Audiences to Engage in a Healing Practice for Land and People

    The practice of connecting to the land is as old as human existence. Human connections with the land have evolved over time, however, in today’s world, we have seen a disconnect between people and the land. As a result of this disconnect, the practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or “Forest Bathing” was established in Japan in the early 80s to combat many of the chronic diseases, stress, and health related issues being faced by Japanese citizens. This practice was developed to utilize the various senses to discover the healing powers of nature. In the United States, the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) has developed a certification program which trains people worldwide to become nature and forest therapy guides. The concept is that the guides open the doors but nature and forests are actually the therapists. Nature and Forest Therapy sessions include a series of guided invitations that are designed to allow the participant to experience the natural world in whichever way that is right for them.

    Research has shown numerous health benefits resulting from the nature and forest therapy practice. Research throughout the world has revealed outcomes such as reduced blood pressure, increased immunity, stress reduction and other health related benefits that are linked to a reduction in chronic disease and trauma recovery. In addition, research is also showing increased levels of self-awareness, improved social engagement and a deeper connection to the land, which develops care and concern for nature and an improved land ethic.

    The Colorful Changes in Nature and Forest Therapy program trained 22 bilingual educators in the delivery of conservation education, citizen science and nature and forest therapy to increase opportunities for meaningful and relevant education and community-based engagement of educators, youth and community members/leaders. This training and associated program delivery created a nexus among conservation education, health and nature relationships, individual/community leadership/mentorship and community engagement in conservation and stewardship-related activities. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA Forest Service piloted a remote forest therapy effort with Colorful Changes cohort members and Agency staff.

    This session will share the history and context of forest therapy, along with current training, practice and application, including the USDA Forest Service Colorful Changes initiative.


    Dr. Tinelle Bustam
    Director, Conservation Education
    USDA Forest Service

    Sandy Marin
    Tribal Relations Specialist Trainee, Office of Tribal Relations
    USDA Forest Service

    Toby Bloom
    National Program Manager, Travel, Tourism and Interpretation
    USDA Forest Service

    Cristobal Jimenez
    Puerto Rico Director
    Corazón Latino

    Manuela Siegfried
    Training Coordinator
    Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) Guides and Programs

    Dr. Tamberly Conway
    Founder & CEO, Conservation Conexions
    Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Certified Guide and ANFT Trail Certification Consultant

    Monica Ines Perez-Eguia
    Love in Motion
    Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Certified Guide
    Colorful Changes bilingual Forest Therapy Training Graduate

    Register for the Colorful Changes in Nature and Forest Therapy at

    Register for the 2021 Virtual Conference at

    For More Information Contact:

    Lloyd Moore
    Conference Coordinator
    (202) 827-2224