An integrative approach to healing ourselves and our world: honoring people, plants, planet

Neighbors,

Though the spring ephemerals are blooming, I’m going to cancel the March hike tomorrow, but still continue to keep the April Guild Trail and May Glenn Falls Trail hikes on the schedule. It’s possible that I’ll continue offering them throughout the year on those two trails. Hopefully…

On the one hand, being outside is great for our health: we can practice social distancing and learn about what is edible and what can keep us healthy. On the other hand, it’s possible that when stopping to talk about the plants, we might create a situation where we’re closer than is advisable right now.

I personally have been out walking a lot. Many spring ephemerals are blooming along the Guild Trail going through the woods from the Ruby Falls parking lot, such as toothwort, rue anemone, hepatica, and trillium, and the blooming will continue with other later bloomers like stoneroot, Spigelia, skullcap, and black cohosh.

I hope to see you on the trail. And if you’re curious about plants, you can go to my blog.

Be well,

Holli

Lookout Mountain Conservancy purchased from a developer around 60 acres on the side of Lookout Mountain, which included an informal trail to Glenn Falls, and now it’s protected for generations to enjoy and appreciate. Plus, from the perspective of the creatures who have no voice, this purchase protects the habitat for the many spring ephemeral wildflowers on these trails, and the really special spring migratory birds who come through in April and May, and all the other creatures who live there. Not to mention the steep slope protection that will maintain the integrity of the hillsides.

To show my deep gratitude, and to provide a way for others to show how grateful they are to LMC, I’m leading a Spring series of wildflower/medicinal plant ID walks. My hope is that these walks will also help anyone who is interested in learning the plants in their neighborhood to appreciate this great gift even more.

We might be able to make this a Citizen Science, iNaturalist thing, too, with documenting the species we see. Any advice on that is welcome.

Suggested donation is $10-20, or more!, and all of it goes to Lookout Mtn Conservancy. Lookout Mountain Conservancy doesn’t just protect land, they grow people. If you’re not familiar with what the organization does, read about them on their website.

Hope to see you on the trail!

3 Spring Walks, come to one or all:
Sunday, March 22nd at 2pm, meet at Glenn Falls Trailhead
Friday, April 17th at 10am, meet at Guild Trail Lot Trailhead
Sunday, May 10th at 2pm, meet at Glenn Falls Trailhead

Self-Acceptance Retreat, April 6-7, Johnson Woods Lodge in McDonald, TN near Cleveland. An overnight, nature-based retreat for women who have survived trauma, led by Holli Richey and Bonnie Cretton. Bonnie is the founder of Woodsong Forest School. Experiences include, Forest Bathing (mindful walk in nature opening senses to nature’s elements to calm and soothe our mind and body), gentle yoga, herbal identification walks, herbal tea blends, meditation. Meals are included. Lodge setting, but must bring linens, yoga mat, comfortable outdoor clothing. Space is limited. Register with Holli by March 25th, 423-240-4578.

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Edible stonecrop and violets.

May 20th, 9:30-12:30. Rising Fawn Gardens–Herbs of the Southern Forest. Herbal identification and medicine making. Register with RisingFawnGardens.com.

June 2nd, Forest Bathing with Crabtree Farms, on the Guild-Hardy Trail. (NOTE: This is NOT at Crabtree Farms. Location below.) Experience the life-changing practice of mindfulness in nature. Be present with the body and senses. Gain skills in how to work with difficult thoughts and feelings to reduce stress and anxiety. Forest Bathing, also called Shinrin-yoku, is a Japanese concept of immersing oneself in the rich sensory experience of the forest with open awareness and no expectations. The body and mind “bathes” in the smells, sounds, light, movement, taste and feel of the forest. Research in Japan is providing evidence of what nature-lovers have intuitively known for years: that reconnecting to the forest will heal us. Studies show, specifically, that intentional forest walking elevates the mood, reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, boosts the immune system, and reduces the heart rate.

Location: Guild-Hardy Trail at Lookout Mountain Conservancy–410 Ochs Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 3740. (The trail is located at the northern end of Lookout Mountain within the Chattanooga city limits. Parking in the far west end (gravel) lot at Ruby Falls.)

October 25-27, American Herbalist Guild 29th Annual Symposium. The symposium focus is on Bioregional Herbalism. I will be presenting on Herbs for Traumatic Stress and leading a Mindful Forest Bathing walk at the beautiful Unicoi State Park in the North Georgia Mountains. Register with AHG.

Early registration ends Friday, December 15th.

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Passionflower helps with stillness of mind.

One of the most fun and fascinating weekends set for 2018 is the Mid-South Women’s Herbal Gathering on Lookout Mountain. Hosted in a beautiful location, many skilled herbalists from the region will share their experience and knowledge of healing with plants.

I will be teaching an intensive on Friday, April 20th from 1-4 on Herbs for Traumatic Stress. As a psychotherapist and herbalist, I have a specialized perspective on using herbal medicines to assist the traumatized body-mind-heart.

Register at Mid-South Women’s Herbal Gathering.

On top of the beautiful Lookout Mountain in Northwest Georgia, we will be gathering for a wonderful herbal experience this September. I will be teaching a class on Herbs for Stress and leading a Forest Bathing experience to calm our nerves and enliven our senses. I’m excited that herbalists Ila Hatter and Lauren Haynes will be leading herb walks and teaching medicine making. You won’t want to miss this herbal gathering for women.

For more information and to register click here for the Into the Wild Herbal Gathering.

 

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