local news story from earlier this month exploring the concept of "forest bathing."
I'd never heard of it either before tonight.
This is happening in nearby Hiawatha, IA. A forest bathing tour guide named Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiler has been leading small groups near Prairiewood. It's an opportunity for people to unplug from society and open up their minds and senses to the nature around them.
For example, participants are encouraged to use their eyes to notice the subtle differences in plant-life. They cup their hands around their ears in order to channel the sounds of nature more effectively. They are encouraged to submerge their hands in water and to hug trees during the tours.
It looks like the forest bathing sessions at Prairiewood are now over. But people living near Des Moines can look forward to similar walking tours at Jester Park in June.
You can watch the news segment here. It's interesting stuff!