October 16-22, 2022
Presented by Overton Park Conservancy
Nature has the power to heal, to make us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. Overton Park, with its Old Forest and open green spaces, has been a constant in Memphians’ lives for more than a century, and Overton Park Conservancy is eager to share its healing power with our community.
NatureZen Week is a celebration of what the park–and nature as a whole–can do for our mental and physical health.
Based on the Japanese concept of shirin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” these short and slow walks are designed to teach participants how best to take advantage of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits that can be derived from spending time surrounded by nature. Humans have an innate need to nurture connections to other living organisms as a matter of evolutionary survival, but also for our own human fulfillment. The Conservancy has recruited a group of volunteers from various disciplines – spiritual, artistic, wellness, ecology – to appeal to the broadest group of park visitors. Some of these volunteers have committed to host mindfulness walks through the fall, with a goal of eventually building out a permanent schedule of facilitated walks.
While visitors may choose to bring a mindfulness approach to any of their visits to Overton Park at any time, these facilitated Mindfulness Walks will be limited to approximately ten people each. All walks depart from the Old Forest gateway entrance beside Overton Bark/Rainbow Lake Playground.
Sunday, October 16, 4:00 – 5:00PM – Kickoff with Bishop Phoebe Roaf (all are welcome – not limited to 10 people)
Monday, October 17, 5:00 – 6:00PM – Walk with Greg Graber (FULL)
Friday, October 21, 8:00 – 9:00AM – Walk with Katherine Bush of Calvary Episcopal Church (FULL)
Sunday, November 6, 10:30 – 11:30AM – Walk with Tonya Meeks of Urban Land Institute (FULL)
Registration is full for all walks – thank you so much for signing up!
An Evening with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
Wednesday, October 19, 5:00 – 8:00PM
Brooks Museum Terrace
Tickets: $25, including reception, talk, and book signing (purchase tickets here)
Journalist and author Florence Williams will discuss compelling findings outlined in her book, The Nature Fix. Nature serves as a welcome reprieve from the demands and constant stimuli of modern life, especially important for diverse communities and building healthy cities. She explores what current research indicates about the myriad health benefits of the great outdoors. What do these findings broadly mean for a society that is increasingly disconnected from nature, and what can we do about it?
Friday, October 21, 5:30 – 7:30PM
Brooks Museum Plaza
Admission is free, with food trucks and fizzy drinks available for purchase. A $25 donation to Overton Park Conservancy gets you a wristband for free food and drinks! (purchase tickets here)
Join DJ Bizzle Bluebland and Ross al Ghul of BodyWerk and WYXR for a party on the Brooks Museum plaza with drinks, food, and a closing celebration of the museum’s latest Brooks Outside popup exhibit, Evanescent.