redbud for header

kids playing in nature


Thursday, March 14, 7-9 p.m.
Friday, March15, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

♦ $85 members of the Arboretum & Center for Spirituality & Healing
♦ $95 general registration
♦ $250 Patron-level contribution includes two-day event pass and invitation to VIP reception with authors on Thursday evening

The conference will take place in the MacMillan Auditorium at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.


A connection to nature is essential to human health and well-being. Nature Heals is a conversation about the neuroscience of human bonds with the natural world, including plant and animal interaction, and the ways that connecting with nature increase individual health and community well-being. Nature Heals will provide participants with new, research- based information to integrate into programming, policy-making, and fundraising in government, corporations, non-profits, social services, healthcare industry, community groups, faith-based organizations, schools and families.

Nature Heals will feature psychologist Elizabeth Nisbet and author Meg Olmert, Made for Each Other. On Thursday, they will engage in a discussion about their journeys to understand the health impact of nature on humans. On Friday, the University will roll out its new NBT offerings and the audience will engage with the authors in experiential interactions and conversation about how individual health and community well-being can increase through interaction with plants and animals.

As part of the Nature Heals event, we will feature two artistic performances (one dance and the other animated story-telling). Both are sure to unlock the imagination, engage the spirit, and rekindle the healing power of nature and our human connection to the natural world.


1. Education about the powerful role nature brings to individual health and community well-being
2. Provide empirical evidence into the bonds between people, plants and animals
3. Engage audience in experiential conversation
4. Disseminate scientific research to applied practice
5. Further the conversation in public policy dialogues

Continuing Education documentation will be provided.


hands planting seedling

"...The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope."

    - Wendell Berry, The Art of the
Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays


Thursday March 14, 2013

7:00 - 8:00 -
Conversation with Friday's
           guest speakers

8:00 - 9:00 - Book signing

Friday March 15, 2013

8:00 - 9:00 -

9:00 - 9:30 -
Welcome, Opening,
           Introduction to NBT

9:30 - 10:00 - A Primer of the Brain

10:00 - 11:00 - Elizabeth Nisbet lecture
Click to access this presentation.

11:00 - 11:15 - Break

11:15 - 12:15 - Meg Olmert lecture
Click to access this presentation.

12:15 - 1:15 - Lunch

1:15 - Nature Heals - Collective

1:45 - Interview with Speakers - Theater
           of Public Policy

2:45 - Wrap-up

3:00 - Nature-Based Therapeutics


Free Medicine

Healing Power of Nature

The Nature Cure

The Outside RX

Animal Communication

Animals and Human Evolution

Better Mental Health on the Farm

5 Ways to Boost Your Health

The Nature Cure (article)

Why Dogs Are Good for You

Through a Dog's Eyes

Forest, Trees & Human Health (book preview)

We Are Stardust!

How Smart Are Animals?

What Are Animals Thinking?

Animal Magnetism

Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction

Louie Schwartzberg TED Talk on Nature









human and her dog

Questions? Contact the Arboretum Education Department.

Your input requested! Please complete a brief survey to help us plan this event.

Download a printable flyer.


Nature Heals is presented by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Nature-Based Therapeutic Services (NBT), a shared initiative with the Center for Spirituality and Healing to further the understanding of the people-nature connection.

Nature-Based Therapeutics - Nature's way of healing

Arboretum logo

Center Spirituality Healing logo


Theater of Public Policy logo


Clay Squared to Infinity


ADOGO Pet Hotel

American Society of Landscape Architects-Minnesota

Angel Animals Network

Burris Law Office

BWR Consulting

Creating Natural Wellness Meetup Group

Experiential Learning for All

Glee! Marketing

Kathryn Olmstead Architecture and Design

Koral Martin Fine Art Photography

Leech Lake Legacy

Life Science Foundation

Loring Park Gardens

Love Thy Nature

M.C. Vidas & Associates, LLC

Merrick, Inc.

Minnesota Association for Environmental Education

Minnesota Children and Nature Connection

Minnesota Department of Education

Minnesota Horticultural Society

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Minnesota Statewide Activity Professionals

Mom Enough

Ramsey County Master Gardeners

Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.)

Ridgeview Medical-Waconia, Minn.


Therapeutic Landscapes Network

TigerLion Arts

Touchstone Mental Health

TR Directory Newsletter

UMN Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility

UMN Center for NeuroBehavioral Development

UMN-CFANS, Department of Horticultural Science

UMN Children, Youth and Family Consortium

UMN Extension Master Gardener Program

UMN International Medical Education and Research Program

UMN Magrath Libary

UMN School of Social Work

Voyageur Outward Bound School

Wisdom Horse Coaching

Woodwinds Hospital

For information about endorsing this event, click here.



Photo credits

Heading: Mark MacLennan
Top left: Don Olson
Top right: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images