Meet your guide…

Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Melanie Choukas-Bradley

Melanie Choukas-Bradley is a Washington, DC author and certified nature and forest therapy guide who leads forest bathing walks, field trips and tree tours for the Audubon Naturalist Society, the United States Botanic Garden, Smithsonian Associates, the Maryland Native Plant Society, the Rock Creek Conservancy, the Nature Conservancy, Casey Trees, Politics & Prose and other organizations. 

Melanie’s newest book, The Joy of Forest Bathing—Reconnect With Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life, was released on August 28, 2018 and is already in its third printing. Amos Clifford, Founder of the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides & Programs wrote: "Reading the The Joy of Forest Bathing works a bit of magic: I feel the presence of the forest and of the peace of the wild things who live there. Melanie Choukas-Bradley has given us more than a how-to book; she also inspires us with gentle guidance and her own joy, which illuminates every page. This book is a true delight that should be on the shelf of every nature lover." Dr. Robert Zarr, Founder of Park RX America, wrote this review: “The Joy of Forest Bathing brilliantly melds Melanie Choukas-Bradley’s naturalist detail and her innate and learned observational skills of all that surrounds her. I love that she can’t help but share her fascination with budbreak. I love how she reminds us to engage our senses, and to unplug, unwind, and indulge. Melanie makes the act of forest bathing accessible to us all, regardless of age or ability. Bravo!"

Melanie is the author of the award-winning book, A Year in Rock Creek Park: The Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, DC, with photographs by Susan Austin Roth. The book was published in two editions in the fall of 2014 by George F. Thompson Publishing. The softcover edition is distributed by the University of Virginia Press.

Melanie is the author of three other critically acclaimed books: City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, DC, illustrated by Polly Alexander and now in its third edition (2008), An Illustrated Guide to Eastern Woodland Wildflowers and Trees: 350 Plants Observed at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland, illustrated by Tina Thieme Brown (2004, 2007), and Sugarloaf: The Mountain’s History, Geology, and Natural Lore, illustrated by Tina Thieme Brown (2003), all published by the University of Virginia Press.

Melanie is also a long-time contributor to The Washington Post and other publications, and she has appeared as an author and guest expert on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, The Diane Rehm Show, and WAMU’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show. In 2014, Melanie was awarded one of four inaugural “Canopy Awards” by Casey Trees, for her efforts to educate people about the trees of Washington, DC. Melanie is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide (Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, Santa Rosa, CA). She is on the Advisory Board of Capital Nature and the Advisory Committee of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance.
Audubon Naturalist Society - Woodend Nature Sanctuary

Audubon Naturalist Society - Woodend Nature Sanctuary

Jul 15, 2020 | 10:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.

8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, USA

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. NOTE: Email [email protected] for info on how to register
Audubon Naturalist Society -Summer Kayaking Trip - Theodore Roosevelt Island

Audubon Naturalist Society -Summer Kayaking Trip - Theodore Roosevelt Island

Jul 29, 2020 | 10:00 A.M. - 01:30 P.M.

8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, USA

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. NOTE: Email [email protected] for info on how to register
Audubon Naturalist Society - Woodend Nature Sanctuary

Audubon Naturalist Society - Woodend Nature Sanctuary

Oct 14, 2020 | 10:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.

8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, USA

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. NOTE: Email [email protected] for info on how to register
Smithsonian Associates - An Immersion in Nature: Japanese “Forest Bathing”—Urban Style

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

Oct 20, 2020 | 08:45 A.M. - 10:45 A.M.

S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC, USA

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. All participants receive a signed copy of The Joy of Forest Bathing.
Smithsonian Associates - An Immersion in Nature: Japanese “Forest Bathing”—Urban Style

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

Oct 27, 2020 | 08:45 A.M. - 10:45 A.M.

S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr SW, Washington, DC, USA

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. All participants receive a signed copy of The Joy of Forest Bathing.
Audubon Naturalist Society - Autumn Tree Walk - Theodore Roosevelt Island

Audubon Naturalist Society - Autumn Tree Walk - Theodore Roosevelt Island

Nov 04, 2020 | 10:00 A.M. - 02:00 P.M.

700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, McLean, VA 22101, USA

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. NOTE: Email [email protected] for info on how to register
Audubon Naturalist Society - Late Autumn Tree Walk - Theodore Roosevelt Island

Audubon Naturalist Society - Late Autumn Tree Walk - Theodore Roosevelt Island

Dec 02, 2020 | 10:00 A.M. - 02:00 P.M.

700 George Washington Memorial Parkway, McLean, VA 22101, USA

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. NOTE: Email [email protected] for info on how to register

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