"One of the last great places on Earth." - The Nature Conservancy
Located between Whitehouse and Swanton, Oak Openings Preserve takes its name from the surrounding region, which is 23 times larger than the park itself. That’s something to consider when you discover that Oak Openings Preserve is about 5,000 acres. Pioneers trudging through a dense swamp called this area “Oak Openings.” Most of the park is an oak savanna ecosystem, characterized by alternating wetlands and vegetated dunes. The Nature Conservancy once named the sandy region one of the 200 “Last Great Places on Earth.” At the preserve grow prickly-pear cactus, wild lupine, and sand cherry bloom atop sand dunes just yards away from orchids in low, wet swales. There are more than 50 miles of trails in Oak Openings Preserve. Stands of isolated pine and spruce planted by the WPA during the Great Depression are still visible. The preserve is also a birder's paradise. It is the nesting place of bluebirds, indigo buntings, whippoorwills, lark sparrows and many other species, as well as an excellent location to see migrating songbirds in the spring.
Where to stay:
Campgrounds are available in or near the park, and many hotels are available in the area. Note that at some campgrounds there are no shower facilities.
Participants will prepare their own meals. There is a large kitchen on-site that will be available for our group, including stoves, cookware, and refrigerators. There are restaurants and grocery stores within a 15-minute drive.
No transportation modes are offered. Guests must arrange their own transport.
Registering for a training begins by completing an application which may take 20-30 minutes. This application is a way for us to get to know you and to determine if we think you will make a good forest therapy guide. Once your application is received, our admissions team will review it and, if you are accepted into the program, send an acceptance letter within three weeks. This letter will contain all the information for next steps, including a registration link to reserve your space in the training. To promote an optimal learning environment, we generally cap enrollment at 21 participants per training. Applications we receive after we have filled the training will be placed on a waitlist. If an accepted applicant drops out, we will contact the next applicant on the waitlist until the training is full again.Read More
Our trainers are among the most experienced guides in the world and each one undergoes a rigorous training process beyond their certification as guides. The trainers listed below are subject to change based on trainer availability. No matter which trainers you work with, you will be taught by the best in the field.
Ronna Schneberger has been a professional award winning naturalist, interpreter, and hiking guide in the Canadian Mountain Parks for 25 years. She is a yoga teacher of 20 years and in the last decade incorporated yoga, meditation, and coaching in nature. The results were profound. In her quest to understand why time in nature easily creates powerful experiences, she became a Forest Therapy Guide with the ANFT, one of the first in Canada. Ronna is a trainer and mentor for forest therapy guides. She is faculty with Leadership Development at the Banff Centre where she works with leaders, professionals and executives from all over the world using nature as the teacher to create powerful reflections and transformation. She is the Chair of the ANFT Canadian Council, along with her team; she looks forward to promoting Forest Therapy in Canada.