Leigha Horton

photo: Jade Patrick

Guide, Programming Director, & Co-Founder
Silvae Spiritus

Certified Guide, Former Practicum Mentor & Apprentice Trainer
Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides & Program
s

*Wilderness First Aid Certified
*CPR + AED Certified

From a free-range childhood of playing in the woods, catching fireflies in her grandparents’ back yard, and family camping and fishing trips, to an adulthood exploring our sacred wild places (Yosemite National Park, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and Dunmore Head being favorites) Leigha’s love affair with Nature was planted at a very young age, tenderly nurtured, and has flourished in the decades since.  

A communicator by training and by trade, she has spent over 20 years as a professional voiceover, screen, and stage actor – the past 13 years specializing in voiceovers for national television and radio commercials, film trailers, museum exhibits, documentaries, training films, educational games, animation, and audio books. Leigha also has over a decade of experience in the museum field – developing and delivering programming about science, history, and arts to tens of thousands of visitors at the Walker Art Center, The Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Minnesota History Center.  It wasn’t until 2016, however, when her near-death experience in the remote wilderness became the catalyst for sweeping change in her life, that she realized her calling to immerse herself in a deeper understanding of, respect for, and connection with the healing, creative, and destructive power of nature. Leigha now happily introduces and inspires others to experience their own reconnection with the natural world, believing that what we love and enjoy, we protect; and nature needs all the love, enjoyment, and protection it can get right now.

“The land knows you, even when you are lost.”

– Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer

Travis Norman

photo: Jade Patrick

Guide, Operations Director, & Co-Founder
Silvae Spiritus

Certified Guide,
Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides & Programs

*Wilderness First Aid Certified

Before ever hearing the term Shinrin-Yoku, before discovering research detailing the substantial health benefits of Mindfulness in Nature, before the decision was made to dedicate his professional energies to helping others experience these benefits, there were simply … walks in the woods.  Walks of celebration during moments of personal victory, walks of consolation during times of loss, walks of introspection in times of uncertainty … setting and circumstance ever changing while the ritual remained constant.  The physical, mental, and emotional equilibrium gained from this practice soon became essential tools in Travis’ ongoing quest to live life with intent and focus, while layering a keen appreciation for the Natural world into the very essence of his identity and perspective.  Walking through the woods at a slow pace while allowing mind and body the time to just be … this habit provided welcome balance as his career path unfolded to become increasingly interwoven with technology as a web designer and electronic musician.  Fast forwarding to the present day finds Travis in awe of the degree to which his early intuitions on the value of time spent in this manner are being confirmed by science and embraced by more and more of the world’s population.  Firmly believing in the interconnectedness of all life, he is curious and excited to witness how the practice of forest bathing will resonate outward and what effects it will generate in the people who experience it.

 “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

– Albert Einstein

Annie Irene Hejny

photo: Marko Zitzer

Guide,
Silvae Spiritus

Certified Guide,
Association of Nature & Forest Therapy Guides & Programs

*Wilderness First Aid Certified

Annie is a voice for the natural world. Raised on the lakes and trails of Minnesota, her early love of playing outside continues to sustain her relationship with the earth. In her professional career as a visual artist, Annie’s connection with nature has developed into a visual language through abstract paintings, drawings and sculptures, telling the stories of Minnesota waters, plants and trees. Forest Therapy is a perfect extension of her art life because it reminds her to slow down to reconnect with all that inspires her. As an artist, she has successfully completed over 50 commissioned projects for galleries, private collections, and public institutions, locally and nationwide including The University of Minnesota Mill City Clinic and Hilton Embassy Suites. She has participated in several notable Minnesota artist residency programs such as The Science Museum of Minnesota Pine Needles Residency and the Anderson Center, and exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions with her largest solo exhibition to-date at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in 2018 (Winona, MN) which received 10,000+ visitors. Annie was a 2020 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant recipient which led her to become a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide.

www.annie-hejny.com

 “What does it mean that the earth is so beautiful? And what shall I do about it? What is the gift that I should bring to the world? What is the life that I should live?”

Mary Oliver

Next Steps…

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