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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-June 2, 2022-Like the plants and flowers found in the Yampa River Botanic Park, each of us holds innate reserves of unimaginable strength and the new Serenity Walk provides a natural place to reconnect, reflect and recalibrate for the community.
“Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing,” commented Executive Director Jennifer MacNeil. “The Serenity Walk is our way of providing a place to be at peace and connect with nature, ourselves and the world.”
Last fall, Botanic Park Executive Director Jennifer MacNeil had a vision for connecting the mental health needs of the community with the park. A committee of seven members worked on the idea throughout the winter and from there the Serenity Walk was born.
“We know that the Botanic Park is a place where people already come to find peace and quiet; and I thought, we could take it a step further and provide a self-guided mental health walk,” continued MacNeil.
The Serenity Walk is designed to provide an experience for participants to connect with nature and the gardens through senses, thoughts, and feelings. Research shows that contact with nature speeds recovery and healing and promotes overall well-being. Initial research also demonstrates that participants who use gardens as places for reflection and peace, improve their feelings of hopefulness, raise their spirits, and increase their willingness to change their lives.
A free brochure focuses on each of the following themes and includes mindfulness activities. It can be found in the brochure box at the Emerald Park entrance or downloaded online. The new walk pairs eight themes with existing areas in the gardens:
“The Serenity Walk picks up and expands on the first words of our mission, a place of serenity,” said Botanic Park Co-Founder Bob Enever. “I wrote those words in 1996 and we had them clearly in mind as we developed the park; striving for serenity and quietness in the city.”
The Botanic Park Board would like to thank the committee members for the time and energy put into this project: Wendy Baumann, LPC; Karen Bomberg, Board Member; Kim Brooks, Horticultural Therapist; Sally Hertzog, Board Member; Jennifer MacNeil, Executive Director; Linda Nolte, Ph.D., Psychologist.
“This project was such a lifeline for me in my grief journey surrounding the sudden death of my son Conner. I am so grateful for the fellowship, wisdom, and compassion of this group,” said Bomberg. “And it is my greatest hope that all whom partake in the Serenity Walk will find some peace, healing and hope.”
ContactJennifer MacNeil, Executive Director, Yampa River Botanic Park, 970.846.5172 or emailEmily Hines, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, 970-871-7031 or email