Practices and Theory

The Joy of Forest Bathing

Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Author/Naturalist and Certified Forest Therapy Guide

Author/Naturalist and Certified Forest Therapy Guide Melanie Choukas-Bradley will talk about the joys of forest bathing in the parks and gardens of Washington, DC, enhanced by photography by Susan Austin Roth. She will also share highlights of her forest bathing trip to Japan, illustrated with beautiful slides taken by Amos Clifford. Melanie will walk you through the joys of forest bathing in almost any setting, including a small city park, garden, or your own back yard, and how to develop a forest bathing mindset that you take everywhere with you! As a naturalist, Melanie will share ways to deepen your forest bathing experiences by tuning in to intimate seasonal occurrences that can enhance your time in nature. She will describe how she "scouts" a site before each walk, receiving guidance from the place.

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is an award-winning nature book author, naturalist, and certified forest therapy guide. Melanie leads forest bathing walks for many organizations in Washington, DC, including Smithsonian Associates, the US Botanic Garden, the Audubon Naturalist Society, the Rock Creek Conservancy, the National Bonsai Foundation and Politics and Prose bookstore. She also gives forest bathing presentations and leads walks in Aspen, Colorado, for the Aspen Institute (2018) and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (2019) and has led forest bathing walks for the YMCA in Austin, Texas and spoken about forest bathing at Austin's Central Library. Melanie has authored five books, including The Joy of Forest Bathing--Reconnect with Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life, A Year in Rock Creek Park and City of Trees.  She traveled to Japan with Amos Clifford, Michele Lott and a small group of guides in the fall of 2017. Her walks and interviews have been featured on NPR and NPR affiliates in DC and Aspen, the Travel Channel website, and in many print and online publications. Melanie grew up in Vermont, wandering the hills and fields from a young age and stealing icy sap from the maple buckets lining her dirt road.