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Arboretum Reads

Arboretum Reads: The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative by Florence Williams

ONSITE | Thursday, April 6, 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Facilitator: Rebecca Caldwell

FREE ($10 Suggested Donation)

Registration Required

Course Capacity: 12

Arboretum Reads is a bi-monthly conversation that shares the best in science and nature titles. In-person meetings at the Arboretum encourage making connections in nature that celebrate where we learn and grow in place in Southern Appalachia. Online reading circles extend the conversation to those who can’t attend in person.


In April, it’s Arboretum Re-Reads! We’re looking back to The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative by Florence Williams, who joins us Wednesday, April 12, at the Arboretum to lead a Forest Bathing experience in the afternoon and share her thoughts since writing the book and the accolades and acclaim The Nature Fix and her latest book, Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey, received worldwide. For more information on Williams and her visit:


For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams set out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain.

From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to groves of eucalyptus in California, Williams investigated the science at the confluence of environment, mood, health, and creativity. She delved into recent research and uncovered the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and ultimately strengthen our relationships. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas — and the answers they yield — are more urgent than ever.




"[Williams] makes a compelling argument for time outdoors. She takes a refreshing approach, including 'forest bathing' (the Japanese custom of a sensory walk in the woods); ecotherapy in Scotland; and how nature can produce the same effects as mind-altering drugs. Thought-provoking and excellent.”—BBC Wildlife Magazine


"Florence Williams, keen observer, deft writer, creates a fascinating mosaic here. What are the costs—to us!—of humanity’s increasing disconnection from nature? What are the likely benefits—to us!—of retaining that threatened connection? Large.” —David Quammen, author of Spillover


"I’m no tree hugger, but The Nature Fix made me want to run outside and embrace the nearest oak. Not for the tree’s sake but mine. Florence Williams makes a compelling, and elegant, case that nature is not only beautiful but also good for us. If Thoreau were steeped in modern neuroscience and possessed an endearingly self-deprecating sense of humor, the result would be the book you hold in your hands.” —Eric Weiner, New York Times best-selling author of The Geography of Genius

Arboretum Reads Facilitator Rebecca Caldwell is a writer and educator who serves as the adult education programs manager at The North Carolina Arboretum. She has taught literature and writing at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Clemson University and Western Carolina University. She is also trained as a counselor specializing in expressive arts and ecopsychology. She maintained both a private practice and work in community and emergency mental health settings for over 12 years. Her doctoral coursework and research at the University of Virginia focused on creativity, intrinsic motivation and the adult learner.

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Item details


April 6, 2023


Free ($10 Suggested Donation)

Registration Required

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