Global Institute of Forest Therapy
'Guided By Nature, We Heal' 

WHAT'S NEW: GIFT'S new Trail Designation Program features the first Designated Forest Therapy Trail in Canada in the City of Markham, Ontario! See more...

The Global Institute of Forest Therapy is officially launched and this is the welcome video by co-founders Sky Buitenhuis and Ben Porchuk.

GIFT In a nutshell

GIFT is a not-for-profit that is committed to furthering the global movement of natural healthcare through training skilled forest therapy guides, promoting forest medicine, and collaborating in the evolving fields of green prescriptions and holistic health.

We invite you to join the global community of forest therapy guides. At GIFT we offer a certification program that stands for professional standards, holistic ethics, professional community and reciprocal therapeutic relationships with nature.

a unique gift:
Experience the Medicine of Being in the Forest....

Also known as Forest Bathing or Shinrin Yoku in Japanese, Forest Therapy is an evidence-based therapeutic practice that connects people to forest environments through gentle sensory based invitations. Forest therapy guides are not therapists; they are guides who help people to deepen their connection with the forest. It is this connection between the person and the forest that provides the therapeutic benefits of the practice.


Forest Therapy is both a new and ancient practice, supporting people to deepen their intimacy with the natural world, returning to a state of being known to all our aboriginal ancestors. This state of being is sometimes referred to as 'deep nature connection' where we recognize we are not only a human being moving through a natural environment but we are a human being in our natural environment, living our lives in reciprocal regenerative relationship with the rest of nature. We have deep gratitude to all the aboriginal teachers who have with great courage kept their traditions alive and shared them with us. While we recognize that we are all indigenous to Earth, there are many aboriginal communities (colonized and un-contacted) who continue to suffer huge losses due to the industrial growth model upon which globalization is founded. In gratitude and recognition of these peoples and the wisdom sanctuaries they protect, we pledge 1% of all training income to organizations who work for aboriginal peoples rights and ecological restoration.

We are a New Organization
with A Big Vision &
A Solid Plan to Get There

Training. Research. Community Building.

Please Support:

why become a guide?

We create joyful and health-giving connection between humans and their natural environments, restoring health for people and planet. Nature's gift and that of a person are bold and strong when connected intimately together.

Find Out How

Save On Guide Training
Training Grants from Canadian Provinces
for Forest Therapy Training
Check Here:
Canada Job Grant Program

I really couldn’t believe the experience I had when I joined a forest therapy walk. It was subtle. It was quiet. I was so relaxed that it gave me so much confidence to change parts of my life - I decided I needed more of this in my life.
— C. Bradstreet, Toronto, ON

why g.i.f.t.?

We are the Global Institute of Forest Therapy, a non-profit organization that cares deeply about people, nature and applying our strengths to rebuild strong, interdependent relationships between people and the natural world.

Find Out More →

Hoary Pucoon B Porchuk.jpg

In the News....

Several new books coming out on Forest Therapy/Bathing

All photography, unless identified, provided by Ben Porchuk (BP) and Sky Buitenhuis (SB)