Join us on 3,900 acres of oak woodlands, Coastal Redwood groves, and more at one of the most beautiful parks in Northern California. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is our home site for researching and leading Shinrin-Yoku and forest therapy walks We are intimately familiar with the landscape, the trails, and the bioregion. Participants will also experience Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens. Quarry Hill is one of the pre-eminent Asian botanical gardens globally, featuring one of the largest collections of documented, wild-collected Asian plants in the world. It is place of delightful discovery, with each bend in the trail bringing new surprises.
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
An amazing natural haven of 3,900 acres in Kenwood, California, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is located northeast of Kenwood in the Mayacamas Mountains between the Sonoma and Napa valleys. A favorite park for families, Sugarloaf boasts a variety of activities with stunning vistas and amazing scenery. Key features of the park include:
Best views overlooking the North Bay with vistas to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Mt. St Helena and the Sierras on clear days!Year-round campground with 47 sites, each with a table and fire ring. Bathrooms have hot showers and separate group camping!Over 25 miles of hiking trails. From an easy 1-mile nature trail to a challenging 8.2-mile loop over Bald Mountain.Spectacular wildflower displays in the early to late spring and early summer.Robert Ferguson Observatory, which houses a 40″ telescope and offers public viewings throughout the year. It’s the largest observatory dedicated solely to public viewing and education.Great mountain biking and horseback riding accessible trails.Headwaters to Sonoma Creek, Sugarloaf boasts a 25-foot waterfall after the winter rains.Visitor Center with park historic information and a gift shop.Diverse beauty – Sugarloaf runs through gorge and canyon, across the meadow floor, beneath scenic rock outcroppings, and is surrounded at times by redwoods and ferns.Wildlife spotting – deer, gray foxes, the occasional bobcat and coyote can be seen in the park.
Accommodations: We’ll be tent camping within a campground with modern bathrooms and coin-operated showers. Participants are responsible to bring their own camping gear; we can provide information for nearby rental resources. If you have your own car it is possible to stay off-site in hotels or bed and breakfast lodging in the towns of Kenwood, Sonoma, or Santa Rosa. You do not need to contact Sugarloaf Ridge to make campground reservations; we have reserved three campsites that our group will share. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a camping venue; campground and parking fees are not included in the registration fee. We will collect a fee of $90 from each participant who stays at the campground at the time of the training.
Tuition for the six-month Guide Training and Certification Program is $3410 USD. This includes the week-long intensive training and six months of mentored practicum. It does not include travel, lodging, ground transportation, or meals.
Ben ‘Crow’ Page is the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, as well as a certified forest therapy guide, council carrier and alternative educator. He is the founder of Shinrin Yoku LA, an organization dedicated to transformative nature therapy and contemplative practice in partnership with the more than human world. Since his practice began, Ben has been featured in such media as Women’s Health, USA TODAY, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, ATTN, The Wall Street Journal and WebMD. Ben is also a co-founder of The Open School, Southern California’s only free democratic school. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in human development and social change from Pacific Oaks College.
Ben’s graduate thesis, “An exploration in Living Council,” sought to answer the question of how deep listening to all beings and throughout time and space can work to integrate deeper levels of connection to ourselves and the world around us. Jack Zimmerman, the co-author of ‘The Way of Council’ was Ben’s mentor and thesis chair on this project.
Christy is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide and Mentor. Her forest therapy practice works primarily through local organizations: counseling services, local and state parks, and ACRES landtrust. Indiana's beautiful deciduous forests are wonderful, all four seasons. She is currently in school studying Environmental Science, with a minor in Religious Studies. Besides her interest in indigenous people's use of plant medicine and the translation of that in to modern herbal medicine, Christy is deeply involved in a personal inquiry around the intersection of faith traditions and forest therapy, and she leads quarterly discussions with guides on this topic. She is the music program director for the local YMCA, a violinist and vocalist. She finds her quiet time in the outdoors to take the star role in her self-care.
Since childhood, Caitlin has been driven by her deep desire to live a life close to the earth and in service to the health of all life. She offers forest-bathing walks as an opportunity for people to develop an intimate relationship with the land and to connect to the innate processes that bring health and wellness to us as organisms. She knows our health is intimately tied to the health of the land and visa versa. It is her intention that this work lead to tender relationships with nature that bring greater health and vitality to individuals and invoke greater stewardship and commitment to the healthy regeneration of our world. As a guide Caitlin brings joy, grace, loving compassion and a deep sense of beauty and presence. She is dedicated to the future generations and leaving them a healthy, happy, thriving world.
As a certified nature and forest therapy guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, Jackie loves guiding people for an immersive experience in Nature. She also loves teaching others how to make certain Chinese food, including dumplings. So she combined her two passions and launched a successful AirBnB Experience called “Forest Bathing with Jiazi Dumplings” in the spring of 2018. Born and raised in rural China, Jackie spent a lot of time outdoors as a child, helping her grandmother gather firewood and following her grandfather around as he raised buffaloes. She came to the United States as a PhD candidate in 1990 and made Los Angeles her home after completing her studies. Besides leading forest therapy walks, Jackie also does translation work and advocates for her autistic son Chris.