Scientific reports suggest that spending time in nature is good for people. Taking a walk in a natural setting promotes relaxation, reflection, and self-awareness. Spending time in nature with others promotes a sense of connection and community. Scientific studies confirm what many people already know to be true in their bodies and minds. Midcoast Mainers live in a beautiful corner of the world, and the coast, forests and fields of the region provide ample opportunities for recreation, exploration, and appreciation.
Portland-based nonprofit organization Renewal in the Wilderness guides wilderness encounters for individuals and businesses to cultivate and sustain cultures of compassion. Recognizing that work, school, and family obligations can make it hard to get away for days at a time, Renewal in the Wilderness also guides beauty walks in Portland. Beauty walks are designed to offer a hearty dose of wilderness renewal to the change-makers in the community, people who are trying to make the world a more beautiful place, and who sometimes get worn out by their efforts.
Beauty walks bring the restorative power of wilderness to what John Muir describes as the “half-wild parks and forests of our urban environment.”
This spring, Renewal in the Wilderness board member Lisa Steele-Maley will offer three beauty walks at Inn Along the Way’s Chapman Farm. Having led backcountry service trips for teens, Steele-Maley is a strong believer in the power of shared outdoors experience to offer both personal comfort and to build community. She speaks of “a tangible peace and connection that builds among a group of people who walk together in awareness of the earth’s capacity to nurture, challenge, and inspire. I look forward to offering this potential to the individuals who Inn Along the Way serves.”
Inn Along the Way in Damariscotta is a collaborative community for older adults and those seeking temporary relief from caregiving. Spring beauty walks at Inn Along the Way are open to all who seek a chance to renew and refresh a tired body or heart.
Beauty walks will begin and end at the barn at Inn Along the Way, located at 741 Main St. in Damariscotta, on Saturdays, April 14 and May 12 from 9-10:30 a.m. On Monday, May 7, the group will meet from 8-9 a.m. The walk will take rain or shine. Participants should bring water and dress for the weather.