You know the feeling that washes over you when you're out in the forest? It's as if everything is alive again, as if you've left the buzz of the machines, the blinking screens, the rumbling of engines and demands for attention. You find quiet and the warm calm of the canopy envelopes you, creating a safe space for you to breathe, for you to run and ride and sweat, for you to gaze longingly at mushroom caps and tree trunks and river beds. In the forest, the inherent magic of evolution and of nature lies waiting, like your oldest and truest friend. In the forest, it all makes sense.
—Tiffany Narron, writer
As soon as my feet step on the soft forest ground, there is an immediate sense of being held, of being grounded and connected, yet ethereal and vast all at the same time. Cocooned in the safety of towering trees, nourished by the life and energy surrounding me, comforted by the almost deafening silence...there is a reason time spent with mother earth can help ease so much of the stress of daily living. I am incredibly grateful for the life and love she gives so freely. May we be good stewards of her gifts.
— Amanda Hale, co-creator, Asheville Yoga Festival
Forests are one of my greatest sources of inspiration in all aspects of life. I make music, and a good portion of it is dedicated to inspiration provided from getting immersed in the woods. There is something mystical about spending time in nature; it always has me coming back feeling more connected and balanced. Forests are vital for life.
— Koresma (Ryan Lindberg), musician
Growing up in California, I first fell in love with the huge red wood trees as a child and that love for trees and nature only expanded after moving to the Carolinas and exploring the beauty that surrounds us here. I'm fascinated with the idea of food forests and edible landscaping, nowadays being connected with nature is seen as "hippy" behaviour when it should be seen as "human" behaviour.
As we all know, our plant ecosystem gives us the oxygen carbon exchange we need to survive on this Earth. Plus, watching trees grow strong and tall with little or no help from mankind gives us the perfect example of what is necessary to help plants grow in our own backyards. I first noted this observation while watching the documentary 'Back To Eden.' Trees have been on this planet longer than any human, and it is our duty to ensure that we nurture our ecosystem and stay mindful to how we are taking from it and ensuring that using the resources available is not causing irreversible damage to it.
— SIYAH (Isa Whitaker), hip-hop artist, Community Garden Network Coordinator at Bountiful Cities