Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT)

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Canada, California – Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

May 4 - May 8


Guide Training Immersion 4 days

Canada, BC – Zajac Ranch 2024
May 4, 2024 to May 8, 2024 | Fully Registered – Accepting Wait List

An opportunity to connect with other guides from other cohorts and learn from the shared experiences.

If you have completed at least module 4 and submitted the corresponding assignments, of the six-month remote Forest Therapy Guide Training you’re eligible to apply. Completion of this immersion and the six-month training fulfills the requirements for full Certification. When space is available, ANFT-trained guides who have completed training in any past cohort can also participate. Please note that priority goes to students who need to take the immersion to get fully certified. Therefore, when you apply, you’ll be put on a waitlist until three weeks before the start of the immersion.

4 day in-person gathering, with 1 or 2 trainers, and people from different cohorts where you will have the opportunity to apply what you learned, experience in-person forest therapy walks and simply connect and share experiences and stories with other guides.

In this immersion, you will:

  • Get a hands on experience of what you learned
  • Get to know trainers personally
  • Get to know other guides and connect
  • Learn from shared experiences with other guides
  • Deepen into the practice
  • Get the opportunity to ask specific questions that might come up

Once you complete this four-day immersion, your certification will be moved from provisional to permanent. You have  two years after you complete the six month core training course to complete an immersion. It will help to give you a sense of the community of guides that has grown and is active throughout the world.

About the Venue

Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
1212 Mission Canyon Rd


The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a 78-acre botanical garden, containing over 1,000 species of rare and indigenous plants. In spring, the meadow provides the opportunity to view our own local “superbloom” of bright orange California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), the purples of blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium bellum), and a changing palette of annual wildflowers. The garden features an incredible array of plant eco-systems including towering redwoods, a pollinator garden, exquisite manzanitas, native coastal canyon and incredible views of the mountains, ocean and sky.


No on-site accommodations- participants are responsible for their own meals and accommodations.

For this immersion, participants will choose their own local accommodations and meet up each day at the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden. We encourage participants to connect in order to share accommodations, transportation and meals. Santa Barbara has many options for local accommodations, including camping, glamping, RV parks, hotels and airbnbs.


Participants cook their own meals.


There is a local airport in Goleta, about 7 miles west of Santa Barbara, although there will be many more flights coming into LAX in Los Angeles, about an hour and 45 minutes drive. From LAX, you can either rent a car (carpooling is encouraged!) or take a shuttle.

Schedule Details

Arrival Day: May 4- Gathering at local restaurant TBD at 7:00pm
Departure Day: May 8 no later than 12:00pm

General Notes

31 days or more prior to the start of your course you may request a full  refund of your reservation minus a $50 administrative fee.

Participants on this immersion are asked to contribute $170, which covers the facilities rental, insurance, parking and entrance fees, as well as a few special gifts. This charge does not include participant meals, accommodations and transportation.

Application for Immersion


The tuition for the four-day immersion is $495. Wait to pay until you are ready to register for a specific immersion. You will have two years from the completion of your core guide training to do the immersion.

Immersion tuition does not include transportation, lodging or camping fees and food. These expenses are separate from the program costs for the four-day immersion and are the responsibility of the trainee.

IMPORTANT: Please wait until you receive enrollment confirmation before booking travel and lodging.

Tuition figures are current as of January 1 2021 and are subject to change.


Jackie is a trainer and the Business Director for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. She’s a certified forest therapy guide trained in 2017 at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and has been guiding regularly in her communities ever since. She’s one of the first guides to pioneer guiding walks remotely via Zoom when the pandemic made guiding in-person unsafe for many months in 2020. Born and raised in China, Jackie came to the United States in 1990 to pursue her PhD in American Literature. She has had a diverse background in various fields such as teaching, translating, marketing, and practicing as a Certified Public Accountant. One of her greatest joys in guiding and training guides is witnessing the transformative impact on participants’ well-being on so many levels. She has co-led over 10 guide trainings worldwide as of 2022 and created a professional development course called Guiding Business Success for trained guides.

Ben Page is a Forest Therapy Guide, global advocate for the practice and the author of Healing Trees: A Pocket Guide to Forest Bathing. He is the founder of Shinrin Yoku LA and Integral Forest Bathing and has been guiding Forest Therapy walks since 2015. During his tenure as a trainer and mentor of guides, Ben has trained hundreds of guides around the world. From 2017-2020, he also served as the Director of Training for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, specializing in curriculum and pedagogical design. Ben also teaches several Professional Development courses relating to Forest Therapy, including Language of Invitation: Reimagining the Possibilities, The Art and Practice of Story Weaving, and Find Yourself In Nature: Find Nature In Yourself. Since his practice began, Ben has been featured in such publications as Women’s Health, USA TODAY, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and WebMD. Ben is also a co-founder of The Open School, Southern California’s only free democratic school. He holds a B.A. in religious studies from Carleton College and an M.A. in human development and social change from Pacific Oaks College.

Certification Pathway

6-month remote training
You will start with a 6-month remote training, covering the content on live calls with the support of your trainers, fellow students, a very user friendly learning platform, many self exploration and nature connection activities that are done outside. After completing this training you get a provisional certification as a Certified Forest Therapy Guide. To view the available trainings scroll down.

4-day in-person immersion
After completing module 4 you can apply to attend a 4-day in-person immersion, for hands on forest therapy guiding experience with trainers and fellow students. You have two years time to complete this step. To view the available immersions click here.

Get your certification
After completing the 6-month remote training and the 4-day in- person immersion, you will receive your permanent certification as an ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Guide and be part of the largest Forest Therapy Guide Community Worldwide. Click here to see the guide’s map.


Application for Immersion

Additional Questions?  Check our FAQ section

Get Started


May 4
May 8
Event Category:


Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
1212 Mission Canyon Rd
Santa Barbara, CA 93105 United States
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