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Nature and well-being series starts today at Bloedel Reserve

Howard Frumkin, Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, will be the keynote speaker for a month of events at Bloedel Reserve focused on "Nature and Well-Being."

His talk entitled, “Nature Contact and Human Health: Is the Evidence In?” is 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2.

Prior to joining the University of Washington, Frumkin was a department director at the Centers for Disease Control, and chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University.

The cost is $10 for Bloedel Reserve members, $15 for non-members.

Bloedel Reserve is offering an array of wellness-themed events this month, including experts that will explore the relationship between nature and well-being, a chance to walk with your “doc” and a temporary labyrinth installation.

“We see countless visitors coming to Bloedel Reserve seeking healing and rejuvenation," said Ed Moydell, executive director of the world-renowned public garden.

"Our founder, Prentice Bloedel, had a deep understanding of the connection between people and plants. We’re excited to celebrate his vision in June,” Moydell said.

One of the guest lecturers, Carolyn Scott Kortage, author of “Healing Walks for Hard Times,” will outline an eight-week program of walks that taps the healing benefits of keeping your feet on the ground when life gets bumpy.

Kortage wrote this book shortly after being diagnosed with breast cancer and jokes that walking saved her marriage, self-image and ultimately, her life.

Charles Needle, a professional photographer, will also share his personal story of how nature photography was instrumental in his 12-year recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Other guest speakers include Gordon Bradley from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington; Patty Cassidy, a registered horticultural therapist; and Martin LeBlank, senior vice president of IslandWood.

Bradley will give the talk "Designing Forest Settings with Human Preferences and Well-Being in Mind."

Cassidy will speak on the restorative power of plants.

LeBlank's talk is titled, "Leave No Child Inside: The New Movement to Reconnect Children and Nature." LeBlank is also  founder of the Children & Nature Network.

The public can also stop by Bloedel Reserve for a quiet, contemplative walk and visit the temporary labyrinth installation.

The labyrinth, large enough to be walked into, has only one path. The path is a metaphor of the journey through life, sending the walker to the center of the labyrinth and then back out to the edge on the same path.

The presenting sponsor of Nature and Well-Being Month, Peninsula Cancer Center, is offering free admission tickets for those that want to participate in “Walk with Your Doc.”

Throughout the month, physicians, specialists and healthcare professionals will be available for a refreshing, rejuvenating walk at Bloedel Reserve.

A schedule of participating healthcare providers is on the Bloedel Reserve website, and tickets are available in person from Peninsula Cancer Center at 19917 Seventh Avenue, Suite 100, Poulsbo.

For more information, visit www.bloedelreserve.org or call 206-842-7631.

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