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As the practice of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” gains worldwide popularity, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park remains at the forefront, offering its powerfully therapeutic meadows, streams and oak woodlands for regular walks and hikes as part of the local ParkRx program.

This commitment earned Sugarloaf and its manager, John Roney, an honorary award during the first annual Forest Bathing International Conference, held at Sonoma State University in mid-July. Boasting more than 200 attendees from 40 countries, the conference was a big deal – and we were honored to be acknowledged before such a gathering.

“We got an award for supporting the program when it started in the U.S. in 2012 at Sugarloaf, and hosting most of the training sessions in the first few years,” John explained. “The conference was great,” he added — and for those looking to dive in to some forest bathing themselves, Sugarloaf’s next forest therapy walk is this coming Saturday (click here for tickets).

Sugarloaf hosts these walks on the third Saturday of every month as part of its ongoing participation in ParkRx. Led by certified Association of Nature and Forest Therapy practitioners, the walks are designed to help people achieve greater mental and physical health through the natural therapy of the natural world.

Come try it out and see for yourself! Tickets are $20 – or free with a ParkRx prescription from a Sonoma County medical provider (click here for more info).