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‘Forest Bathing’ at Colonial Park Gardens

The Colonial Park Gardens staff will present a unique program, “Forest Bathing,” on Saturday, September 7 at the Colonial Park Gardens, Parking Lot A. The program will run from noon to 2 p.m.

The Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, which translates as “forest bathing”, is intended to help foster a connection with nature that feeds the mind, body, and spirit. Off the Grid Yoga instructor Megan Soucy will lead a forest bathing experience at Colonial Park Gardens with an easy, slow hike and a gentle yoga session through the gardens and arboretum. The program will also include meditation and centering sessions intended to encourage the nurturing qualities of being present within nature. Participants are encouraged to bring a small blanket or towel to sit on, water, and suitable shoes for walking.

The fee is $25 per person with a limit of 12 people. Pre-registration and payment is required by September 3, 2019 by going online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or calling 908 722-1200 ext. 572. Participants will meet at the entrance of the Colonial Park Rose Garden, Lot A.

The Colonial Park Gardens include the five-acre Perennial Garden that provides year-round horticulture interest. In spring, the garden comes alive with the colors and fragrances of daffodils, lilacs, daphnes and pinks. Late spring and summer bring added color and form to the garden. Irises, peonies, roses, lilies, and coreopsis bloom among the many perennials and shrubs. In autumn, asters, ornamental grasses and butterfly bushes reach their peak bloom. Evergreens and winterberry hollies provide interest well into the winter months. Amid green lawns and beds of colorful perennials, bulbs, trees, and shrubs, lies the focal point of the garden, the gazebo.

The Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden, named in honor of the first horticulturist of the Somerset County Park Commission, and in recognition of his efforts to design and develop the garden. The one-acre garden features more than 3,000 roses of 325 varieties. Since the days of Mr. van der Goot, each of the garden’s caretakers has observed the integrity of the garden by maintaining the collection of both heritage roses and newer prize-winning cultivars. In 2015, the Garden received the World Federation of Rose Societies Award of Excellence and is considered to be among the world’s finest rose gardens.

Information on this and other Park Commission programs and activities may be found online at www.somersetcountyparks.org or by calling 908-722-1200.

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