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nerstrand big woods state park, Minnesota

Forest Bathing Press & Articles

Embrace Winter 30-Day Challenge

Erica Pearson - Minneapolis Star Tribune

“If you feel comfortable, go ahead and introduce yourself to the tree. Think of questions you want to ask,” the guide suggested.

I looked up at a striking maple in Eastman Nature Center and wondered, “How did your branches end up twisting and curving so much, making you stand out in the forest?”

It was just one of the ways forest therapy guide David Motzenbecker invited us to experience nature during an immersive, three-hour winter walk through the Maple Grove park.


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Soak in Nature, Melt Away Stress

Kate Havelin – Nature Writer

COVID. George Floyd. Unrest. Unemployment. Since the pandemic hit, it’s felt like a near-constant state of siege.

David Motzenbecker knows what that’s like. On a recent podcast he said, “Right now … we are all in a state of constant low-level fight or flight stress. Our bodies are drip, drip, drip with cortisol, stress hormones, all the time with this low-level stress and that’s causing a lot of bad health problems for everyone.”


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Forest Bathing

Renée Stewart-Hester - Lake Minnetonka Magazine

Have you ever had a conversation with someone or read another person’s words and felt, “I’ve had that feeling or experience, but this person is articulating it so much better than me!”?  Enter David Motzenbecker.

On page 22, I write about the practice of shinrin-yoku, also known as forest bathing. Through Minnetonka Community Education and his own business, Motzenbecker leads participants through meditative and therapeutic walks.

Motzenbecker says the practice has been transformative. “It has reminded me of my insignificance in the greater scheme of things,” he says. “How many years will I live—100 if I’m really lucky? One hundred years to a tree or a mountain or an ocean is a blink of an eye. I like to imagine what the 3,000-year-old redwoods have seen and experienced in their lifetimes. What is it like to be truly rooted to a place? How does your perspective change over that span of time? What is it like to nurture entire ecosystems?”


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Welcome Along On A Forest Bath

Lisa Filter - Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota

Forest bathing: what an intriguing term. Have you heard of this?

If you’re like me, you’ve seen the idea popping up here and there, but have never come across a satisfying explanation of what it is, exactly. So, when I saw an opportunity to participate in a 2-hour, guided forest-bathing session at a nearby park, I jumped at the chance to finally figure out this mystery.


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Spirituality & Well Being

Lisa Buck - Hennepin Lawyer

When we think of health, we often envision exercise and eating well (physical health) or stress reduction and therapy (mental health). But a third facet of health— spiritual— is often overlooked. Emerging research indicates that spirituality is as important to our well-being. This article explores what spirituality is and the role it plays in our lives.


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The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Invisibility of Nature

Michael McCarthy - Emergence Magazine

As rampant urbanization increasingly severs humanity from the living world, naturalist Michael McCarthy explores the ways in which the “anthropause,” ushered in by the coronavirus, has—on an unprecedented scale—made nature visible again.


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The Solitude Series

Jennifer Stitt & The Garrison Institute

In 1852, Herman Melville described the dark depravity of silence. “All profound things, and emotions of things are preceded and attained by silence,” Melville wrote.  Read on to discover the power of solitude for yourself.


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Nature-based therapy is an antidote to climate fatalism

Southwest Journal

In early December, Minneapolis joined the ranks of approximately two dozen U.S. cities by declaring a climate emergency. This declaration highlights the alarming fact that the impacts of climate change are not just future threats: The climate apocalypse is already here. 

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The Powers of Immersion and Mindfulness: Forest Bathing


Those of us who are in environmental fields or simply have an affinity for backyard gardening are familiar with the benefits of being surrounded by nature.  Now there is a great amount of research on the mental and physical benefits of spending intentional, mindful time outdoors, especially in forests.

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Far from being 'woo woo,' research shows that forest bathing is calming and stress-reducing

Star Tribune

David Motzenbecker, founder of Minneapolis-based forest bathing provider Motz Studios, has been taking others on guided walks for a year. His participants range from tourists who find the experience on Airbnb to students at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

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The mental health benefits of ‘forest bathing’


Three hours in the woods: Young adulthood is a time of challenges, but for the group of Minneapolis Community and Technical College students that accompanied counselor Jamal Adam on a guided forest therapy walk earlier this spring, the idea of 180 phone-free minutes with nothing but nature for distraction felt hard to fathom.

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Being Out in Nature Does A Body (and a Brain) Good

Laine Bergeson Becco - Minneapolis Star Tribune Magazine

If it feels like spending time outside makes you feel better, you're right. There's even research to prove it. 


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