March 12, 2019 Share

“In the Company of Trees” Meditation/Walk with Author @ D&R Greenway March 21

Laura Hawkins photo of healthy walkers exploring the Stony Brook @ D&R Greenway

On Thursday, March 21—the Vernal Equinox, Meditation and Walk, from 5-6:30 p.m. through Greenway Meadows Park; meet at the Johnson Education Center. Led by Andrea Fereshteh, author, In the Company of Trees, the walk will offer a chance to immerse in nature and ignite the senses.

On Thursday, March 21—the Vernal Equinox—a Meditation Talk and Walk will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. through Greenway Meadows Park; meet at the Johnson Education Center. Led by Andrea Fereshteh, author, “In the Company of Trees,” the walk will offer a chance to immerse in nature and ignite the senses.

On Thursday, March 21—the Vernal Equinox—a Meditation Talk and Walk will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. through Greenway Meadows Park; meet at the Johnson Education Center. Led by Andrea Fereshteh, author, “In the Company of Trees,” the walk will offer a chance to immerse in nature and ignite the senses.

Princeton—Medical experts from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton and Paula Flory, Executive Director of the Princeton YWCA’s Breast Cancer Resource Center, will speak about the health benefits of being in nature on Tuesday, March 19, 3-4 p.m. at D&R Greenway Land Trust, 1 Preservation Place, Princeton, N.J. Healing Trails: Why Being Outdoors in Nature is Good for You will be followed by a reception in the Johnson Education Center, where visitors can also view the exhibit, Healing Trails, on view through April 5. These events are designed to introduce the public to D&R Greenway’s new Healing Trails app, a free audio tour to D&R Greenway preserved trails. Those who attend the March 19 program will meet and hear stories from people featured on the app, so users can get outside, be well and stay inspired.

Both events are free; please rsvp: (609) 924-4646 or rsvp@drgreenway.org. Gallery hours Monday-Friday,10 a.m.-5 p.m. www.drgreenway.org.

A growing body of evidence shows that contact with nature has positive outcomes on the physical and emotional wellbeing of adults and children. Walking in nature can alleviate problems from diabetes, asthma, arthritis and hip and knee injuries. Being outdoors lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, improves sleep and increases energy and longevity. Children who play outside enjoy greater creativity, better focus, longer attentions spans and enhanced cooperation with others.

Laura Hawkins: Artist in Grasses

Panelists for the March 19 talk, along with Paula Flory, Executive Director of the Princeton YWCA’s Breast Cancer Resource Center, include Diane Grillo, Vice President of Health Promotion at RWJ Hamilton, and Patti McDougall, BSN, Integrative Therapies Nurse at Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health. Jody Kendall, poet, featured on the Healing Trails, will share her own healthy journey.

Grillo describes herself as “passionate about prevention, holistic health and wellness.” She has pioneered programs around the benefits of healing through arts and nature and believes “it is worth the discipline required to sustain an exceptional lifestyle and positive philosophy, and to try always to look on the bright side of life.” McDougall runs the holistic programs in the Community Education department and oversees the Reiki program through the hospital and Cancer Center. She will speak on the role of holistic and complementary medicine in modern healthcare.

“We developed the Healing Trails app as a unique way to connect the value of being outside in nature with physical, emotional and spiritual health,” says D&R Greenway President & CEO Linda Mead. “Our inspiration came from Edie Howard who, with her husband, Charlie, preserved their land with us in 2013. While undergoing cancer treatments, Edie found that being outdoors in nature, walking among the bees and the butterflies, was a healing process. She shared this with her ‘rainbow circle,’ describing in e-mails what she saw in nature and how this related to her healing process.

“We were inspired by Edie to get people out on the trails, in nature, for all the restorative properties it conveys,” continues Mead.

In the Healing Trails exhibit, fine art photographs showcase D&R Greenway’s seven healing trails. This is accompanied by a map showing viewers how to get to these trails at Greenway Meadows, Cedar Ridge Preserve, St. Michaels Farm Preserve, the Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve and Dry Run Creek, as well as the walking and paddling tours at Abbott Marshlands. A demonstration on how to use the App is included in this program.

The healing trails audio tour app is free, so users can get outside, be well and stay inspired.
On the app’s audio tour, we hear the voices of those for whom nature has been remedial. The late Dr. Lyn Ransom, a musician and choir conductor, wrote and performed songs about her healing journey. More than a few of these relate to the natural world, and she described nature as a healing force she could draw on whether climbing Baldpate Mountain trails or watching the silhouetted birds at sunset. “There’s a silken breeze flowing through the field/ The pine perfume lets my heart yield/ to the beauty of the land time and time again/ That’s where I go to drink the air and love the land,” she sang.

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D&R GREENWAY LAND TRUST IS IN ITS 30TH YEAR of preserving and protecting natural lands, farmlands and open spaces throughout central and southern New Jersey. Through continuous preservation and stewardship — caring for land and easements to ensure they remain protected and ecologically healthy in perpetuity — D&R Greenway nurtures a healthier and more diverse environment for people and wild species in seven counties. Accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission, D&R Greenway’s mission is to preserve and care for land and inspire a conservation ethic, now and for the future. Since its founding in 1989, D&R Greenway has permanently preserved more than 20,000 acres, an area 20 times the size of New York City’s Central Park, including 30 miles of trails open to the public. The Johnson Education Center, a circa 1900 restored barn at One Preservation Place, Princeton, is D&R Greenway’s home. Through programs, art exhibits and related lectures, D&R Greenway inspires greater public commitment to safeguarding land.

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