"That was amazing! Thank you for slowing my mind and body. To bring nature to the forefront of my life and remind me how to play again has made such a difference. Each day I see the world in a different way. Taking nature breaks energizes me. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!"
– Georgina Hartman, Recreation Therapy Assistant, Sherwood Park, Alberta
Are you ready to:
...get better at caring for yourself like you care for others?
...restore your energy & lift your spirits with nature breaks?
...bring sparks of joy & pockets of calm to crazy busy times?
Noticing nearby nature gave me back my sense of self when my work and caregiving responsibilities felt overwhelming.
This evidence-based self-care practice may be just what you need in your daily life.
Restorative benefits are often felt immediately.
Program participants report feeling joy and rejuvenation, with improved mood, energy and focus.
"As a result of taking Shelagh's course, I realize how important it is to give myself a nature prescription. Even though the primary focus of my work is helping people connect with nature, I was always too busy caring for the well-being of others to take a break on my lunch hour. Now I find myself eating outside, going for a quick walk, or stopping to pick flowers.
I realize that I have more to give by giving myself permission to take a break and look around. I don't have to go far to feel reconnected to nature and part of something greater than myself."
- Emma Rooney, Creativity Facilitator & Founder, Blooming Caravan, Toronto, Ontario
This experiential online program is a 7-module interactive guide to savouring nearby nature for personal and professional self-care.
In easy steps, you’ll be guided through the process of creating enjoyable new habits to improve how you feel and function in your daily life.
*Designed for healthcare professionals and caregivers, it's equally relevant for anyone who gives a great deal of themselves and needs daily restoration to sustain their good work.
“One of the most intriguing and most useful, practical courses I’ve taken in quite a while. So fun, informative and extremely useful practice of self care that can often be neglected. I was skeptical of online, but content was fun, delivered with a variety of tools such as video, poems, books. Such a perfect way to learn at my own pace. Loved it!”
– Anonymous participant evaluation
The content is both playful & profound
I’ve creatively curated relevant research findings, nature photos, quotes, poetry, and real-life stories to inspire and inform you. You can choose between reading the text or listening to me speaking to you.
You'll personalize the sensory activities and self-reflections to suit your unique nature interests, your location and the time you have available.
Currently available as self-study. Stories from previous participants will inspire you.
For Recreation Therapists, the content is CE pre-approved by NCTRC for 12 hours (1.2 CEUs).
Upon completion, 12 hours worth of points are also awarded towards professional registration with the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association.
The nature activities will reawaken your senses to the beauty and wonder of your natural habitat, including your sense of curiosity and fascination.
“I just realized the other day when I was out for a walk, that prior to this course, if I was out walking, I’d be lost in thought. I could walk for an hour and not really observe my surroundings in any detail as I’d be thinking, planning etc.
Now, when I’m outside for a walk, getting fresh air, I’m actually 'lost in nature.'
I’m slowing down on these walks, and feel rejuvenated, refreshed, more connected to my world and surroundings. It makes me laugh a bit. I feel like I have a new set of eyes and ears now! ”
– Lindsay Hooton, Recreation Therapist, Coquitlam, British Columbia
Program Highlights & Milestones
Sneak Peek into the Program
This step takes you through a brief evidence-based activity that can help when your brain is fatigued and needs to focus, or when you want to change how you feel.
Click the link for access: Enjoy a Green Micro-Break
While you’re there, you can see the whole program pathway on the left side of the screen.
A 'Breeze Through' option allows you to grab activities and go.
To 'Get a Solid Grounding' you can expect to spend about 12 hours total on absorbing and applying the program over several weeks or months.
You can also 'Dig Deep' into additional resources.
Your Nature Muse
As a registered horticultural therapist and online educator, I'm passionate about promoting the health and well-being of people and planet through daily engagement with nearby nature.
For 23 years, I developed and facilitated therapeutic garden programs for seniors living in care homes, while supervising and mentoring many students and volunteers. I taught people with mental health issues how to grow their own food, collaborated on the design of restorative and enabling gardens, and created and taught a 130-hour Horticultural Therapy Certificate Program.
My current focus is to inspire people who give a great deal of themselves to notice and engage with nearby nature for restorative self-care. Sensory nature play is a joyful daily practice for me, a source of nourishment and delight, and an evolving journey that I'd love to share with you. Join me, as we learn together to thrive with nature.
"I just wanted to say how thankful I am for taking this online program during this weird and crazy time. I truly feel like my daily nature practice is one of the major things keeping me grounded right now."
– Kelly, Recreation Therapist, Canada
Creatively Curated Content
Photos, videos, graphics, questionnaires
Stories, poetry, quotes
Inspirational picture books
Links to additional resources
You may be thinking:
‘I already notice nearby nature.
Why would I want to take an online program?’
It's a reasonable question. Participants have said:
"My awareness and appreciation of nature is really
expanding. So very inspiring! So many simple things we can do that can bring so
- Carol Shoji, British Columbia, Canada
"It was amazing! I found that since I have done the course, I really notice nature in a different way, a deeper and more meaningful way."
I really feel a difference in my body…. I find when my stress is so high, I notice nature more. I worried sometimes and wondered if it was dissociating, but then I realize it is a moment of sanity in amongst the stress. It is truly grounding me right now. Noticing the mountain ridge today just made me feel like everything was all going to be okay, and I think nature is there to serve as a reminder of that. The constant beauty and simplicity of it is such a gift!”
- Janay Babuin Funk, Recreation Therapist, BC, Canada
“Feeling so burnt out a few months ago personally at work, I was ready for thriving again! I remind myself that peace and connection is waiting for me a few steps outside my front door or outside my window or in the next room ; all I have to do is be intentional! I have been incorporating these methods with my work and sharing with my colleagues who are taking notice and doing the same to nurture their spirits as well.”
- Program Participant
“I really enjoy your evidence-based information and the course was awesome – I would love to take another course with you, on just about anything!”
– Jessica, Recreation Therapist & Registered Nurse, Canada
I'm too busy. I don't have time to do the program
I'm with you! That's why I provide a 'playsheet' for each module. Print it off and take it outside with you, or wherever you choose. The playsheet includes key points, activities, inspiring quotes and self-reflection questions.
You can also choose between reading text portions of the program, or listening to me speak to you while you wash dishes, fold laundry, or better yet, look out the window!
I live in a dense urban area without nearby nature to enjoy
In the program you'll discover creative ways to notice nearby nature that you may not have been aware of before. You'll also find simple ways to add more nature content to your everyday life, where you live, work and play.
Frequently Asked Questions
"This course is truly fantastic! I was in a sad place when I first started and getting out in Nature and seeing life in a different perspective has really lightened my being. I truly believe this course came along at the right time."
– Debbie Boef, Instructor of Recreation Therapist Assistants, Okanagan College, Kelowna, BC
Is now your time?
...to let nearby nature restore you?
...to experience more joy and wonder?
...to enjoy being alive in this gorgeous living world we inhabit?
"Prior to taking the course, my time spent in nature could often be 'mindless', when I would be focused on my thoughts and not aware of my environment. I now make a conscious effort to say thanks and honour my environment and allow nature to heal and enrich my soul."
- Sherry Dodson, Horticultural Therapist, Ontario, Canada
3% of your program enrollment fee will be donated to The Nature Conservancy.
Their mission: Conserving the lands and waters upon which all life depends.
Their goal: A world where people and nature thrive.