Why designate a trail?
1. Raising Local Awareness of Forest Therapy
Japan has dozens of official Shinrin Yoku or Forest Therapy Bases, areas in which one can be sure the site and its trail(s) is/are highly suitable for Shinrin Yoku (for more info on designating a trail in your community, see bottom of this page or email email@example.com). These are also places where researchers can conduct studies on the many health and nature connection benefits of Shinrin Yoku. We are inspired by this model in Japan.
2. Access to Self-Guided and Guide-Lead Walks
Creating a network of trails that are officially designated by The Global Institute of Forest Therapy will permit for recognition of high standards and suitable sites in which local community residents may participate in self-guided Forest Therapy walks using signs written in collaboration with GIFT and local site managers. Further, those wishing to hire or attend walks lead by a certified Forest Therapy Guide can contact us for a local listing of Certified Guides and thus create the ability to support a new aspect of local economies.
3. Creating Added Value to Urban Natural Areas
Natural areas can co-exist in any sized town or urban area. Such habitats are removed when they are not highly valued. Low impact, highly beneficial activities such as Forest Therapy reconnect people to the values of nature and foster strong ties for desired stewardship.
4. Establishing Standards
All paths on different trails vary and that's often a big part of enjoying a walk outside. However, there are several features that make one trail better than another in terms of its effectiveness for Forest Therapy. When one encounters GIFT's name and logo on a trail, one can be sure it is high quality and highly beneficial for the practices of Forest Therapy.
A First for Canada:
Congratulations, Markham, Ontario
Welcome to Canada's first Designated Forest Therapy/ Shinrin Yoku Trail: Markham's Springdale Park!
GIFT has just announced, in September 2018, a similar but distinctive Forest Therapy Trail Designation Program. The City of Markham, Ontario, has retained GIFT to evaluate, designate and present Canada's first Designated Forest Therapy Trails. Official designation is on Friday September 28th, at Springdale Park in Markham, Ontario, Canada.
GIFT proudly recognizes Markham,ON as the 1st Designated Shinrin Yoku/ Forest Therapy Trail in Canada!
HOW WE ASSESS TRAILS
Trails within a given area are designated based on criteria of the surrounding natural area, the trail itself, and a multitude of other factors relating to biodiversity, access to natural flowing water and other key therapeutic elements, trail substrate,and even practical elements such as washroom/toilet access, clear, well presented signage, benches, and so on.
A CELEBRATION, A LAUNCH, A SERIES OF FREE WALKS!
GIFT and the City of Markham, Ontario officially launched and unveiled Canada's first Designated Forest Therapy/ Shinrin Yoku Trail on Friday September 28th at 1pm at Springdale Park in Markham, Ontario. Immediately following the ceremony, was the first of seven free walks offered by Global Institute of Forest Therapy.
WANT TO DESIGNATE A TRAIL IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
To learn the process, the time and financial commitment for trail designation, email us for a consultation to see if your site may qualify and how we could work together for Trail Designation.
ARE YOU A CERTIFIED FOREST THERAPY GUIDE WITH A PENCHANT FOR TRAILS?
We are looking for experienced Certified Forest Therapy Guides who have a broad understanding of trail criteria related to Forest Therapy, ecology and other key parameters. Please contact us about consulting for GIFT on this worthwhile new Trail Designation Program.