Healing in Nature

Heal in Nature with Green Foothills

Healing in Nature outings bring people together for meditative, healing experiences as we explore protected parks and open spaces. These gatherings are curated for people of all ages, abilities, and interests, by trained docents and community healers. Our hope is that these restorative experiences will connect you more deeply with your community, all living beings, and mother earth.

While not required, if you are not already a Green Foothills donor, we ask that you make a tax-deductible contribution to help make these outings and all the work we do for local nature possible.

Questions? Contact [email protected].

Upcoming Events

Coyote Valley, photo credit Dan Quinn

Coyote Valley: For Families with Children
Saturday, June 29, from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Families with children are invited to a Healing in Nature outing at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve south of San Jose.

We will explore 1.5 miles of this beautiful preserve and participants will have the opportunity to learn about local plant and animal life led by Green Foothills staff and docents.

We will be meeting at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve Parking Lot. Please arrive at 8:45 a.m. to check in.

Free, but must RSVP here.

This outing is funded in part by the Open Space Authority Urban Grant Program.

El Corte De Madera Creek Preserve
Sunday, July 14, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

San Mateo County residents are invited to relax, renew, and rejuvenate through a free, guided walk at El Corte De Madera Creek Preserve!

Parks and open space are proven to benefit mental health, and that’s the inspiration for this Healing in Nature program. Time in nature is associated with reduced anxiety, improved mood, lower blood pressure, and a stronger immune system.

Walk with us along 2.2 miles of moderate terrain trails in this Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District preserve with its deep canyons, dense stands of second-growth redwoods, and a few awe-inspiring old-growth redwoods. Docents will provide interesting facts about the plants and trees in the preserve, how to tell the difference between Douglas firs and redwoods, some of the history of logging in the area,, and more. Our certified healers will lead us in reciprocal and Douglas fir healings and will guide us through honoring the six directions.

We have limited space, so please RSVP today to reserve your spot for this free event.

Green Foothills thanks the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for providing funding from Measure K to support this program. Measure K is a half-cent countywide sales tax that provides local funds for local needs, to ensure San Mateo County quality of life.

Coyote Valley, photo credit Dan Quinn

Coyote Valley: For Santa Clara County Residents
Sunday, July 28, from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Santa Clara County residents are invited to a Healing in Nature outing at Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve south of San Jose.

We will walk about 2 miles in this beautiful preserve, which was created thanks to dedicated and persistent advocacy by Green Foothills and its partners. You will learn about local plant and animal life and about the history of the advocacy that led to Coyote Valley being protected. We will also participate in a healing exercise. The outing will be led by Green Foothills staff and docents.

We will meet at the Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve Parking Lot. Please arrive at 8:45 a.m. to check in.

Free, but must RSVP here. Please fill out a separate registration form for each person.

This outing is funded in part by the Open Space Authority Urban Grant Program and Valley Water’s Safe, Clean Water Program.

More Events

Stay tuned for more Healing in Nature events coming later this year. Questions? Contact [email protected].

Thank You to Our Donors

The Healing in Nature program is funded in part by a GlobalGiving grant made in partnership with KPMG Living Green Program; the Open Space Authority Urban Grant Program; San Mateo County District 3 Measure K Funds; Valley Water; and support from other generous donors. Please consider making a donation to support Green Foothills. We appreciate every individual, agency, and foundation who makes our work possible and we are proud to recognize every contributor in Our Donor Community.

Meet Your Healers

Smita headshot

Smita Garg
Dr., Soul Regression Therapist, Meditation Expert, Artist-Educator, City of San Jose Arts Commission Chair, Green Foothills Leadership Program 2016 Graduate

Smita Garg, Ed. D., is a meditation expert and the founder of Kinder Way Healing. She has guided meditations for groups and organizations including Chopsticks Alley, Fil-Am Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley, Parents Helping Parents, and San Jose city departments. She has training and certifications from world-renowned Dr. Brian Weiss and Dr. Linda Backman in Soul Regression therapy, and has practiced the Sahaj Samadhi Meditation style for years. Through the course of her own deepening meditation practice, she has created her own style. Smita is a mother of two girls, an artist-educator, a lifelong community activist, and an involved member of San Jose’s arts community.

Amari headshot

Amari Thomas
Advanced Soul Coaching Practitioner, Executive Coach, Advisory Committee member for Green Foothills, and Board Member for several nonprofits

Amari Thomas is a Certified Advanced Soul Coaching Practitioner, one of a select group of people worldwide personally trained by internationally known healer, teacher, and author Denise Linn. Amari is the founder of Wisdom Revealed, a spirit-based personal discovery and coaching/training organization focusing on inspiring and supporting everyone to live their most authentic life. She is a member of the Mapuche indigenous tribe of Chile and comes from a lineage of Earth Healers. Being in nature is one of the most powerful transformational experiences there is and Amari is excited to introduce others to the reciprocal healing power of nature.

Kira W. headshot

Kira White provides Forest Bathing/Therapy in the Bay Area, surrounding areas, and beyond. She is trained and certified with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and her private guiding business is Forest Therapy Collective. Kira has a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in Psychology and a master’s degree in Educational Administration along with a Culinary Certificate and has worked as a chef and chef instructor for over 15 years. Kira has taught in a variety of settings including art, culinary and psychology. She has found that nature and the forest bring about a deep sense of healing for her and would like to share that with others. She has a partnership with Hidden Villa and guides their Wellness Forest Walks. In addition to being a docent for Green Foothills’ Healing in Nature program, she is a Green Foothills Leadership Program 2024 participant. Kira would like to bring Ecopsychology and Forest Therapy into more colleges, corporate and wellness programs in addition to working with environmental nonprofits.

Meet Your Docents

Catherine C.

Catherine Crawford-Swent has been leading hikes with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District since 2018. As a registered nurse, she has a passion for health and wellness. Catherine believes strongly that our interconnectedness with nature has healing benefits for individuals and for the planet as a whole. In addition, she believes that as we begin to understand our natural world, we begin to understand ourselves. As a docent she considers herself a generalist, but she has a particular interest in trees, ferns, lichen, aromatic plants, and wildflowers.

Marie F.E. headshot

Marie Faust Evitt has been leading hikes with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District since 2018. A retired preschool teacher and freelance journalist, Marie particularly enjoys introducing families to the natural world. She led a nature fieldtrip class for preschoolers and their parents for eight years. Marie also loves gardening and is converting her yard to native plants.

Dan Q. headshot

Dan Quinn grew up in San Jose and has a PhD in Physics from Stanford. He has lived in Portola Valley since 1977, and has long enjoyed hiking and camping in the Bay Area and the Sierras with family and friends. As his career progressed from academic high-energy physics, through decision analysis, to financial engineering and risk management, he maintained his interest in the environment; retired, he now has more time to focus on the legacy we will leave future generations. Dan has served on the boards of Hidden Villa and Acterra, as a guide with Hidden Villa’s Environmental Education Program, and as a Jasper Ridge docent. He has supported Green Foothills for years. An avid photographer, he contributes his nature photographs to several conservation organizations. His photographs are at CaptureTheLight.Zenfolio.com. Dan is awed by the legacy of Green Foothills and wants to help advance its mission in the future.

Helen Q. headshot

Helen Quinn, together with her husband Dan, has been a long-time supporter of the work of Green Foothills and of other conservation-oriented organizations. Australian by birth, she is an internationally recognized physicist by profession (now retired), and a naturalist and science educator by avocation. She is a trained docent for Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve at Stanford and an occasional volunteer docent for Green Foothills events.

Cultural Mindfulness

All Green Foothills docents and healers receive cultural mindfulness training. The first training module is a group discussion of our “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Expectations for Green Foothills Representatives” to ensure that they understand our expectation that everyone at Green Foothills is responsible for building an inclusive culture and agree to meet the expectations outlined in the document. The second training module is a Cultural Mindfulness Institute workshop series.

Interested in becoming a Green Foothills docent? Email [email protected].


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