Some events will be postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus.


March 3, 2020

Recreational Equipment, Inc.

The Joy of Forest Bathing

Thursday, March 3, 2020, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
A free event - please register here.

Tysons REI
8209 Watson Street, McLean, Tysons, VA 22102

Instructor: Melanie Choukas-Bradley

There's a growing body of evidence that the practice of forest bathing - known as "Shinrin-yoku" in Japan, where the phenomenon started - can help boost immunity and mood and help reduce stress. Forest therapy is now gaining popularity as a way to reconnect with nature for health and many other benefits. Melanie Choukas-Bradley, certified forest therapy guide and author of "The Joy of Forest Bathing," joins us for a talk on the practice and benefits of forest bathing.

March 21, 2020

Tregaron Conservancy

Forest Bathing with Certified Forest Therapy Guide Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Sat, March 21, 2020 - POSTPONED
9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Tregaron Conservancy
3031 Klingle Road NW

REGISTER HERE - The Tregaron Walk is SOLD OUT.

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of The Joy of Forest Bathing and A Year in Rock Creek Park, for an early spring forest bathing walk through the Tregaron Conservancy. Forest bathing is a mindfulness practice akin to meditation, yoga and tai chi that involves tuning in to the beauty and wonder of your natural surroundings with all of your senses. Melanie is a nature and forest therapy guide with certification from the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides & Programs. She will guide you on a calming and rejuvenating walk through the Tregaron woodland with plenty of time to slow down and soak up the special magic of earliest spring in this enchanting wild garden, one of the best kept secrets in our city.

Preparation: Dress in comfortable clothing and be prepared for slow walking on natural trails and stone steps with some hill climbing. Bring rain gear if showers are expected.

Weather Policy: We will go ahead in light intermittent rain but will cancel in steady heavy rain or a serious threat of thunderstorms.

Directions, Map and other information: Tregaron is a 10-15 minute walk from the Cleveland Park or Woodley Metro stops and can be accessed on foot or by bicycle (no bikes allowed within Tregaron) from the Klingle Valley Trail. We will meet at the iron gate entrance at 3031 Klingle Road, NW. You may also enter from 3100 Macomb Street, NW and walk through the park to meet up with us at the gate on Klingle.

Please note: There are no restrooms at Tregaron. There is a Starbucks on Connecticut Avenue across from the Zoo and a Firehook Bakery on Connecticut Avenue in Cleveland Park, each of which is a 10-15 minute walk from the meeting place.


April 4, 2020

Audubon Naturalist Society

Bluebells and Budbreak at Boundary Bridge

Saturday April 4 (9:30am-2pm) RESCHEDULED FOR SUMMER SOLSTICE, JUNE 20
Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Members $28; nonmembers $38
This program is currently full. All new registrations will be waitlisted. 

We’re delighted that the author of the award-winning book, A Year in Rock Creek Park and the critically acclaimed, City of Trees, will offer her 14th year of nature walks for ANS in the country’s oldest urban national park. On our walk, we will witness the annual floral miracle of Virginia bluebells, spring beauties, and trout lilies in the floodplain forest, as we admire the leaves of tulip tree and American beech begin to spill from their buds. We’ll hope to catch bloodroot, wild ginger, cut-leafed toothwort and other spring ephemerals in bloom as we explore both floodplain and upland woods at a leisurely pace. Our lunch stop, high above the creek on a dramatic rock outcrop offering, will offer spectacular views. Here, we’ll do a bit of “forest bathing,” time permitting. Throughout, we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for belted kingfishers, wood ducks, migrating songbirds, and tiny spring peepers. REGISTER


April 8, 2020

Audubon Naturalist Society

A Year at Theodore Roosevelt Island

A: Budbreak and Spring Wildflower Walk, Wednesday, April 8 (10 am-2 pm) RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 10
B: Summer Kayaking Trip, Wednesday, July 29 (10 am-1:30 pm)
C: Autumn Tree Walk, Wednesday, November 4 (10 am-2 pm)
D: Late Autumn Tree Walk, Wednesday, December 2 (10 am-2 pm)
Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Each walk: members $28; nonmembers $38
This program is currently full. All new registrations will be waitlisted. 

Photo by Ana Ka’ahanui.

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of the forthcoming Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island (August 2020), for a year-long exploration of Theodore Roosevelt Island, a 90-acre island in the Potomac that serves as a fitting memorial to our conservationist and naturalist 26th president—and Audubon Naturalist Society member! In the early spring, we’ll witness the miracle of budbreak among the island’s remarkable trees and see the floodplain forest come alive with Virginia bluebells, spring beauties, trout lilies, and trilliums. During summer, ANS Senior Naturalist Stephanie Mason will join us for a kayaking trip around the island, launching from Key Bridge Boathouse on the Georgetown waterfront. We’ll paddle under the island’s graceful silver maples and sycamores, get close to the summer wildflowers along the shore, and watch herons, egrets, wood ducks and—hopefully—the noisy kingfisher! As a bonus, we’ll be treated to stunning views of the Lincoln Memorial and the “City of Trees” on the horizon. Our fall tree walks will take us deep into the swamp and tidal inlet along the boardwalk where willows, bald-cypresses and cattails frame views of the city behind it. Melanie will share details of the island’s fascinating history during this year-long exploration and we’ll witness the ebb and flow of the Potomac tides along with the changing seasons. Fee for trip B does not include canoe or kayak rental. REGISTER


April 11, 2020

Politics & Prose

Spring Walk in Rock Creek Park - The Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, D.C.

Saturday, April 11, 2020 RESCHEDULED FOR JUNE 13
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Price of the walk: $50
For more information, contact Bob Attardi at classes@politics-prose.com
Return Policy: Refunds are only guaranteed up to seven days before the trip.
NO MEMBER DISCOUNT
Register here.

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, D.C. and The Joy of Forest Bathing—Reconnect with Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life, for a walk under the trees in the Boundary Bridge area of Rock Creek Park. Susan Austin Roth, the Rock Creek Park book's photographer and a Virginia Master Naturalist, will co-lead the walk, schedule permitting. Melanie and Susan are naturalists who frequently lead guided walks in the park, and they are intimately acquainted with the trees and wildflowers growing along Rock Creek. Melanie and Susan will share their love of nature and knowledge of the area’s ecology.

You'll enjoy a spring nature walk under the trees in the Boundary Bridge area of the park, where the group will look for Virginia bluebells, spring beauties, trout lilies and other early spring wildflowers of the floodplain forest as we witness the miracle of “budbreak” among the park’s venerable trees.

The tour will take place on Saturday, April 11th from 9:30 a.m. to roughly 1 p.m. The group will meet at the Boundary Bridge parking lot found along Beach Drive, where attendees can park. To get there, take the East-West Highway (Route 410) east from Connecticut Avenue (a right-hand turn if driving north on Connecticut from D.C. and a left-hand turn if driving south from the Beltway). Take the East-West Highway to Beach Drive and turn right (south) and drive to the locked gate across Beach Drive at the District line. Park in the parking lot just before the gate or along the road if the parking lot is full.

Because the tour should last up to 3 1/2 hours, attendees are encouraged to bring water, snacks, and a light lunch. In addition, sunscreen and bug spray may be needed. Bring binoculars if you wish.

We will cover up to 2 ½ miles at a slow hiking pace with some elevation change on hiking trails. There are no restrooms at the meeting location or along the route.


April 14, 2020

Smithsonian Associates

An Immersion in Nature: Japanese “Forest Bathing”—Urban Style

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. RESCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 20

This tour is also available on May 5.

Shinrin-yoku (translated as “forest bathing”) began in Japan in the 1980s. Rooted in Shinto and Buddhist traditions of reverence for nature, the practice involves a full sensory immersion in the outdoors. Recent health studies conducted in Japan, North America, and other countries document the mental and physical health benefits of quiet time spent in nature, including lowered blood pressure and stress hormone levels, as well as improved mood and cognition. Lately, more and more studies are focused on the health benefits of time spent in natural landscapes within cities.

Experience forest bathing as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing (Rock Point), leads a 2-hour walk in the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Move slowly to soak up the beauty of the Moongate Garden, inspired by the Chinese Temple of Heaven; the Fountain Garden, modeled after the Court of the Lions at the Alhambra, and the Victorian Parterre. This unique and restorative celebration of the beauty of spring in one of the garden gems of the nation’s capital is the perfect way to learn why forest bathing is becoming popular all over the world.

The group meets at the entrance to the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr., SW (Metro: Smithsonian, Mall exit).

All participants receive a signed copy of The Joy of Forest Bathing.


May 2, 2020

United States Botanic Garden

Spring Tree Tour

DATE: Saturday, May 2
TIME: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
LOCATION: Tour will meet in front of the Conservatory entrance on the Terrace

FREE: Pre-registration required (click here) 
This program is currently full. All new registrations will be waitlisted. 

Spend a May morning strolling under the venerable trees that grace the U.S. Capitol Grounds and Arboretum with Melanie. These lush and botanically diverse grounds were designed by the pre-eminent 19th century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted—designer of New York City’s Central Park and many other North American landscapes—and they have been described as one of the world’s finest arboretums. We will explore the historic groves of the Capitol at the height of spring foliage and flower, admiring and learning about the trees that grace the grounds, including species from around the United States and the world. We hope to see magnolias, dogwoods, buckeyes, horsechestnuts, and other flowering trees in bloom. The tour begins at the USBG Conservatory and continues to the Capitol. Learn some basics of tree identification and a secret side of political Washington: the love of trees that goes back to founding presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and led to the capital becoming known as the “City of Trees.” Memorial trees planted by Members of Congress—including some that are 100 years or more in age—are among the trees on the tour. Hear arboreal highlights of the city’s planning history and recommendations of local natural areas for further exploration.

Please note: This tour is held outdoors. We suggest bringing sunscreen, protective clothing, and water. The tour is canceled if it rains.


May 5, 2020

Smithsonian Associates

An Immersion in Nature: Japanese “Forest Bathing”—Urban Style

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. RESCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 27

Register here.

Shinrin-yoku (translated as “forest bathing”) began in Japan in the 1980s. Rooted in Shinto and Buddhist traditions of reverence for nature, the practice involves a full sensory immersion in the outdoors. Recent health studies conducted in Japan, North America, and other countries document the mental and physical health benefits of quiet time spent in nature, including lowered blood pressure and stress hormone levels, as well as improved mood and cognition. Lately, more and more studies are focused on the health benefits of time spent in natural landscapes within cities.

Experience forest bathing as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing (Rock Point), leads a 2-hour walk in the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.

Move slowly to soak up the beauty of the Moongate Garden, inspired by the Chinese Temple of Heaven; the Fountain Garden, modeled after the Court of the Lions at the Alhambra, and the Victorian Parterre. This unique and restorative celebration of the beauty of spring in one of the garden gems of the nation’s capital is the perfect way to learn why forest bathing is becoming popular all over the world.

The group meets at the entrance to the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr., SW (Metro: Smithsonian, Mall exit).

All participants receive a signed copy of The Joy of Forest Bathing.


May 13, 2020

Audubon Naturalist Society

Wonders at Woodend: Forest Bathing through the Seasons

Wednesdays (10 am-12:30 pm)
Section B: May 13
Section C: July 15
Section D: October 14

Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Each walk members $26; nonmembers $36
Entire series members $94; nonmembers $130

Savor the natural joys of each season on forest bathing walks led by Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a longtime ANS field trip leader and the author of The Joy of Forest Bathing—Reconnect with Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life. Discover the magic of shinrin-yoku, translated as “forest bathing,” a nature-oriented mindfulness practice that originated in Japan and has become popular all over the world. Our leader is a Nature & Forest Therapy Guide with certification from the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides and Programs of Sonoma County, California. Experience the restoration of Woodend as we explore and commune with the living things in our meadows, forest, and Blair Garden. A serving of maple sap “tea” and a sharing of nature poetry will conclude each walk. REGISTER


June 5, 2020

United States Botanic Garden

Botanical Bliss, An Immersive Nature Walk
Melanie Choukas-Bradley, Author, Naturalist, Certified Forest Therapy Guide

DATE: Friday, June 5
TIME: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
LOCATION: Tour meets on the Terrace in front of the Conservatory
FREE: Pre-registration required (click here)

Studies have shown that spending time in nature is good for both mental and physical health. This slow-moving, immersive tour through the USBG outdoor gardens aims to promote wellness and reflections on nature. Join Melanie as she explores the beauty and wonder of the Garden through all five senses. Stop to periodically share experiences and observations with other participants and sip some pure maple sap “tea” at the conclusion of the journey.



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