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Forest Therapy - Guided Walks

A poster for Forest Therapy events with dates, locations, guide names, and a brief description, plus a QR code and logos.

 Be sure to fill out the waiver below!

23-24 Adult Forest Therapy Waiver.pdf

Get to know the Chico State Ecotherapy Program

The Ecotherapy Program offers place-based, holistic healing practices to Chico State students, staff, and faculty, community members, and individuals impacted by wildfire in Butte County. The program’s mission is to promote the well-being of both people and the land through guided therapeutic and restorative activities in local natural environments.

What is Forest Therapy?

Forest Therapy is designed to support health and wellness through guided immersions in natural environments to promote the well-being of both people and the land. Inspired by Shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of “Forest Bathing,” Forest Therapy has been proven to enhance health, wellness, and happiness.

Forest Therapy is an opportunity to slow down, relax, and experience the natural world through your senses. During your guided immersion, an ANFT-certified guide will offer a series of invitations to deepen your sensory experience and assist you in finding your own authentic way of interacting with the land. Forest Therapy experiences finish up with tea made from wild-harvested forest herbs and snacks.

Studies from around the world have shown Forest Therapy can:

  • Reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels.
  • Enhance immune system function by increasing the production of natural killer cells.
  • Improve respiratory and cardiovascular function.
  • Decrease anxiety and depression.
  • Improve mood, focus, academic performance, and creativity.

Program History

Following the Camp Fire, CSUC Ecological Reserves received funding from the North Valley Community Foundation’s (NVCF) Butte Strong Fund to train and certify 15 local mental health providers, outdoor educators, and community leaders to become Forest Therapy Guides through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.

In September of 2021, The Ecotherapy for Student Wellness Program was created through a partnership between the WellCat Counseling Center and the Ecological Reserves to provide rapid services to students struggling with unprecedented mental health challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2022, the Ecotherapy Program has continued to grow through collaborative efforts from the CSUC, Chico Division of Student Affairs. Chico State Basic Needs and the WellCat Counseling Center are now providing operational, clinical, management, and development support to expand the program and provide professional case-managed basic needs and therapeutic wrap-around services and interventions for Chico State students, staff, and faculty.

In May 2022, the Ecotherapy Program received additional funding from the North Valley Community Foundation’s Butte Strong Fund, which will allow our programs to prioritize serving community members impacted by wildfire in Butte County through professionally guided Forest Therapy services, holistic wellness training, and community land stewardship events.

Certified Forest Therapy Guides

Our Forest Therapy Guides are certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT) and employed by Paradise Recreation & Park District to provide professionally guided therapeutic nature immersions to CSU students, staff, faculty, and members of the general public.

Directions to Sites

Paradise Lake – Picnic Side, Directions

Paradise Lake – Boat Launch Side, Directions

Bille Park, Directions

Table Mountain Trail, Directions

Upper Bidwell Park, Directions

Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, Directions

The Forebay Aquatic Center, Directions

Want to book a custom/one off Forest Therapy Session?

Contact our staff to set up a unique experience for yourself or your organization! Call 530- 433-1733

Proudly Funded By

The Ecotherapy Program is proudly funded by the North Valley Community FoundationChico State Basic Needs and the WellCat Counseling Center.