NEW YORK (PIX11) — The Sands Point Preserve encourages visitors to connect with nature.
The former Guggenheim Estate, now owned by Nassau County, features 6 miles of hiking trails with four different types of ecosystems, each supporting various types of plants and animals, including over 200 bird species.
But this historic landmark also offers a unique sensory experience that has proven to be good for your health. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture in 1982 came up with a concept called Shinrin-Roku. It means Forest Bathing.
At the preserve, Forest Bathing classes are led by a licensed guide, who is an expert in different techniques. Visitors are taught various ways to maximize the experience through all five senses, whether finding comfort in the scents or the sound of streaming water.
“When we are stressed out that manifests in different ways, headaches, body aches, and depression are all products of stress. There are ways of doing it in a mindful way where you’re aware of your breath. You’re aware of the feeling of the sun on your face. You’re aware of the sounds of the birds,” Executive Director Jeremiah Bosgang said.
Trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air. Taking in that fresh air can alleviate stress.
“With the changing seasons, there are different aspects to your natural environment to take in and appreciate. Instead of the foliage, it might be snowfall. It might be ice (that) forms on a branch. It’s the idea of stopping and taking in that mindfulness,” says Bosgang.
Health experts said Forest Bathing could put you on the right path to achieving physical and mental wellness and hopefully, a longer life. A 2021 study revealed that just 30 minutes of outdoor time could lower blood pressure by almost 10%.
For more information about forest bathing and other programs offers at the Sands Point Preserve, visit http://sandspointpreserveconservancy.org/