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Strolls for Well-Being

A place to mend hearts & heal minds

Experience the restorative powers of nature and join us for Strolls for Well-Being, a free 10-week program offered at Bloedel Reserve. If not already a member, participants are given a temporary membership to allow them unlimited access to the gardens during the program.

If you’ve ever used nature to calm your mind or heart, then you’ve experienced the underlying basis of the program. This self-guided tour uses the gardens of Bloedel as a place for inspiration and reflection. With a workbook in hand, participants explore themes such as forgiveness, gratitude and awareness.

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Program Logistics:

The program is predominately self-guided and participants come on their own time to partake in the 12 different walks. They also are asked to take part in three check-in meetings, overseen by the program’s creator. These loosely-structured meetings provide a time for people to share about their Strolls experiences and learn about the positive effect nature has on the human psyche.

To fulfill the requirements of the program, we ask that participants attend at least two out of three of the check-in meetings and complete all necessary paperwork.

For more information, please contact Laura King, 206-842-7631 ext. 11

Please note: In order to allow the most participation in the Strolls program, we ask that past participants not enroll again.

Click on a session to register.

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Day-Use Strolls:

Since introducing the Strolls for Well-Being program in 2014, hundreds of people have benefited from the healing effects of nature. And now, we are happy to offer day-use Strolls for people who aren’t able to commit to the full program.

The design of Strolls for Well-Being is based on a large body of research that shows contact with nature speeds recovery and healing and promotes overall well-being. Initial research demonstrates participants who use gardens as places for reflection and peace, improve their feelings of hopefulness, raise their spirits and increase their willingness to change their lives.

Day-use Strolls packets can be found in the gatehouse. Please inquire with gatehouse staff to receive a packet.

It is our hope that you will find inspiration and a sense of peace during your visit. To make the most of your experience, we suggest:

  • Take the Stroll by yourself for the most impact.
  • Take your time—don’t begin a Stroll if you are in a rush.
  • As you walk toward the starting point for the Stroll, reflect on your life and identify areas of discord or uncertainty.
  • Immerse yourself in the nature. Notice the bird calls, the dew drops on leaves and the breeze on your face.
  • Write what’s in your heart. You’re the only one who will see it!
  • Be aware that other guests are visiting too. You may encounter delightful squeals from children or a group of friends catching up over a walk. Know that they will pass and you will be able to refocus your attention on the Stroll.
  • Typically afternoons (after 2 p.m.) are our quietest times. (Weekends are our busiest.)

Thanks to Peninsula Cancer Center and Kitsap Community Foundation for sponsoring this nature-rich and life-changing program.

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  • The presence I felt at Bloedel Reserve — nature's unconditional love — was very healing. This program has made me realize how much I appreciate life and need to seek out the joys.   Strolls Participant

The Creative Residency

Finding inspiration in nature

Selected residents stay in a well-appointed home on Bloedel grounds and are given unlimited access to the beauty of the 150-acre public garden. These multi-week retreats will allow participants long stretches of uninterrupted time in a breath-taking environment.

The application process for 2016 residencies is closed. The open-call for 2017 residencies will be in the fall of 2016.

SELECTED 2016 ARTIST:

Karen Finneyfrock (author)

Chunbo “Bo” Zhang and Yuzhi Bai (painters)

Ann Johnston Schuster (print maker)

Joyce Utting Schutter (sculptor)

Susan Pavel (weaver)

Barbara Cooper (sculptor / illustrator)

Laura Foster Nicholson (textile artist)

Wynn Yarrow (painter)

For more information, please contact Laura King, 206-842-7631 ext. 11

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Residency types:

  • Open to both professional and emerging artists, composers, writers, botanists, landscape architects, researchers and others exploring the themes of nature and the human connection with nature. (No dedicated studio space available at this time)
  • Project or research must relate to nature.
  • Special consideration given to projects that explore the connection between people and nature.

Residency accommodations:

  • Designed by noted Northwest architect Jim Cutler, this two-bedroom, two-bath home is built over a stream with natural light, high-quality finishes and furnishings.
  • Tucked into the woods off the trail from regular Bloedel visitors.
  • Two to four week residencies.
  • Bloedel asks that each participant provide a presentation, workshop or concert to the public in return for their stay.
  • Residencies provide free accommodations and access to the Bloedel Reserve.
  • A Smart Car is available for residents to use during their stay. (Proof of valid driver’s license required.)

At this time, Bloedel is not able to offer a stipend nor cover transportation expenses.

  • The space and quiet allowed me to sink into my novel with prolonged, uninterrupted concentration. I woke up with my story, lived and walked with my story and like any relationship, our intimacy increased.  Karen Finneyfrock, 2016 resident artist