Check back later for more winter and early spring events.

February 19, 2020

Audubon Naturalist Society

Wonders at Woodend: Forest Bathing through the Seasons

Wednesdays (10 am-12:30 pm)
Section A: February 19
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

February 29, 2020

United States Botanic Garden

Winter Tree Tour

DATE: Saturday, February 29
TIME: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
LOCATION: Tour will meet in the Conservatory Lobby
FREE: Pre-registration required. Register here.

[NOTE: All registrations will be waitlisted.]

Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of 
City of Trees and The Joy of Forest Bathing

Winter is the best time to appreciate the architecture of the historic trees gracing the U.S. Capitol campus. Stroll around the grounds with Melanie, admiring and learning about magnificent trees from around the country and the world. Learn to identify beeches, magnolias, horse-chestnuts, buckeyes, dogwoods, and many other trees during winter. Melanie will focus on the bark, buds, and overall growth habit of grand old trees, including many official state trees and memorial plantings. Giant sequoias and a massive bur oak are among the trees on the tour. Melanie will share history of the U.S. Capitol Grounds and the city of Washington throughout the tour.

Please note: This tour is held outdoors. Please come prepared to be outside in the winter weather. The tour is canceled if it rains or snows.

CANCELLATION POLICY: The U.S. Botanic Garden reserves the right to substitute instructors or cancel programs when necessary.

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
9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Tregaron Conservancy
3031 Klingle Road NW


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)
Leader: Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Members $28; nonmembers $38

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)
B: Summer Kayaking Trip with Stephanie Mason, Wednesday, July 22 (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

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
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Price of the walk: $50
For more information, contact Bob Attardi at
Return Policy: Refunds are only guaranteed up to seven days before the trip.
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.

Most nature photographs by Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Polly Alexander.

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