DONATION REQUIRED for Healing Gardens for Children with Anxiety (Suggested amount: $20+)
“In the heart of Toronto there is a savannah forest of oak trees. These are no ordinary oaks: they are black oaks, called Quercus velutina. Sitting right under our noses are the best trees to stop climate change in North America and to give us back our health. Join me, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, and we will forest bathe together. You will never look at a tree in the same way again. I promise.”
We are pleased to share that Diana will be accompanied by Jim Adams and Anastasia Watson, co-creators of Anokiwin Wiyowin (the Naming Project), part of a larger resurgence project that seeks to teach the recognition of and traditional uses of indigenous plants, to raise awareness of the need to connect with the urban natural world that exists in most cities.
Diana Beresford-Kroeger, recognized globally for her work with natural sciences and medicine, has challenged Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to design, create and promote “healing gardens for children with anxiety”.
Partnering with the Ontario Climate Consortium to raise funds for this initiative, Diana will host a screening of the documentary Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees at the 2018 Ontario Climate Symposium, as well as this unique “medicine walk” at High Park’s oak savanna. Participants will enjoy the opportunity to hear her speak on the healing properties of trees and plants, as well as on traditional knowledge, or ancient “ways of knowing”.
Children’s Mental Health Ontario has published statistics that point to a growing crisis: anxiety and mental health problems among youngsters in the province. One-third of children have missed school due to anxiety; more than two-thirds have reported concerns about their level of anxiety; and five of six children seeking treatment for mental health issues are not receiving it.
There is a pressing need for effective interventions to help support children’s mental health and well being, and it is essential that these are designed to be accessible to children in all communities.
Child development experts are also concerned about a “nature deficit disorder” — a term coined by author Richard Louv — that results from lack of exposure to nature. Some physicians are beginning to prescribe walks in natural areas to counteract this condition.