Why I Do This Work

Haida Bolton, Forest Therapy Guide

All my life I have found great peace and healing in the forest, often transforming anger, frustration and sadness into joy, acceptance and love.  Nature often facilitated healthy problem solving whether I was alone or solving issues with others.

As a child, my happiest memories were created in nature.  So, as an adult, I connected children to nature for over 30 years through Youth Camps in British Columbia and Africa, Roots & Shoots Clubs and Eco-Kidz Forest Parties.

In 2015, while grieving my marriage separation among the towering trees, cascading creeks and beautiful bays of Pender Harbour, I learned about a growing practice called Shinrin Yoku (Japanese for Forest Bathing), also known as Forest Therapy in North America. I decided then I wanted to connect all ages with nature to create a happier and healthier world for everyone.

BC’s First Certified Forest Therapy Guide

In November 2016, I was honoured to become British Columbia’s first Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. Forest Therapy is also known as Forest Bathing.

My Time With Jane Goodall

Having met Jane Goodall first by coincidence at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania and again on Salt Spring Island, BC, and then through 10 planned events thereafter, I’ve always been in awe of Jane’s magical serene aura. Often people would comment to her about it. This aura gives her a saint like appearance when in her presence.

Haida Bolton and Jane Goodall

Only after I began weekly forest therapy experiences did I come to understand that Jane is carrying the magic calming energy of the forest with her wherever she travels in the world. 28 years of forest immersion has had an amazing effect – No wonder she is the United Nations Messenger of Peace!

Knowing this, it is easy to understand how numerous scientific studies, such as that in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology (26: 123-128, 2007), show that stress hormones decrease significantly with watching and being in forested environments.  The longer the forest experience, the lower the stress hormones.


“This walk is a way to connect to nature and allows you to be about something outside of yourself.  It’s very calming and rejuvenating.”  ~ Anonymous