, 9:00 am—5:00 pm
County: Alameda County
Sponsor: Seneca Family of Agencies
Humans are an expression of nature at the deepest level, and until the last several hundred years we always lived deeply embedded in natural cycles- day and night, seasons, weather. It is only recently, as human civilization has become more ‘advanced’ that we’ve begun to separate ourselves from these natural cycles. At this time in history, most western people spend most of their time in a temperature-controlled box- either at home, at work, or in the car. Yet because of our unique evolutionary inheritance, we carry nature within us all the time, whether we recognize it or not, and our own internal dysregulation can be a pointer to the fact that we are out of balance with our own nature.
Research continues to demonstrate the beneficial effects of exposure to nature, and the detrimental effects of its lack. Many at-risk youth have been raised in urban environments with restricted or negligible access to nature. These daylong trainings are focused on utilizing the presence of nature to support wellbeing. They help providers develop an attuned relationship with the natural world, with the twin goals of being able to access greater wellbeing through the orienting rhythmicity of the natural world and mindful awareness of season, weather, light, landscape, plants, and animal life; and to help providers develop ways to introduce and include nature awareness programming in their work with at-risk youth.
- Providers become more attuned to the natural environment, and its relation to specific internal / mood states.
- Providers notice how changing natural conditions, e.g., seasons, weather, light, landscape, plants, animals effect internal/ mood states.
- Providers begin to develop a catalog of tools and practices for introducing elements of nature awareness to at-risk youth.
- Providers develop a catalog of tools and practices of mindful awareness of the natural world to introduce to at-risk youth.