Casey Trees helping plant the seeds of “Plant with a Doc”
Aug 12, 2020
Casey Trees, a nonprofit that protects and restores the tree canopy of Washington, D.C., hosted an event with the USDA Forest Service and Walk with a Doc this summer that planted 80 trees. They weren’t just planting trees for the environmental benefits, however - they were planting trees to improve the overall medical health of the community. Joined with doctors, forest therapists, and volunteers, the effort represents a fresh look at the impact trees can have on health.
Forests as Medical Resource
Robert Corletta, Supervisory Forester of the D.C. Department of Transportation and Casey Trees invited Dr. Michael Duenas and the USFS to kick off the morning of tree-planting. This gave volunteers and participants a chance to learn about creating urban tree canopy and the correlation with improved health, as well as several of the benefits surrounding nature-based exposure and positive health connections. As an Optometrist, Dr. Duenas also shared the important role that nature plays in ocular health.
The USFS highlighted the partnership with Corazon Latino in reaching diverse audiences, and with Nature Sacred in the sponsorship of the Forest Therapy walk, which served as a post-tree planting activity.
Farjana Islam guided a Forest Therapy walk, her first official walk as an Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Certified Guide. Farjana and Tamberly Conway, PhD Partnerships, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist of the Forest Service both participated in the tree-planting. Cheryl Dixon served as their Casey Trees team leader. Cheryl joined the post-planting Forest Therapy session, and she is the Firesoul for the Langdon Park Nature Sacred space. She helped to create a synergy of reciprocity to the land for all that it provides each day, which made the event even more monumental.
Robert Coletta, Supervisory Forester of the D.C. Department of Transportation, John Henderson, Executive Director of Park RxAmerica, and Danielle Pere from the American College of Preventive Medicine all attended the walk in support of this intricate connection between the health of people and the health of the land. The event had a turnout of 25 participants.
This event would not have been made possible without Casey Trees and other partners. This collaboration has planted the seeds of “Plant with a Doc” and of Forest Therapy, as potential accessible activities in which diverse communities can engage in conjunction with tree planting events and on Nature Sacred sites throughout the nation. These events help to inspire an even deeper connection to the land and to the importance of caring for individual trees and forests that bring us health and wellness, each and every day.