Bad Godesberg Want to leave everyday life behind? A mindfulness trail that the German Association for the Protection of Forests (SDW) wants to install in the Kottenforst in Bad Godesberg should help. With the aid of audio instructions, walkers will experience the forest with all their senses at six stations.
An excursion into the forest can seem like a short holiday. Those entering the forest are taking a break, recovering and therefore doing something for their health. But it is often hard to leave everyday life behind. The mindfulness path that the German Association for the Protection of Forests (SDW) wants to install in the Kottenforst in Bad Godesberg should help.
With the help of audio instructions, walkers will experience the forest with all their senses at six stations, explains SDW federal manager Christoph Rullmann. Bad Godesberg is to be a trailblazer. Once the project starts, it is planned to bring more cities on board. There are already prospective customers. “We are just waiting for the start signal,” says Rullmann. This could happen soon. The environment committee will decide on the proposal this Wednesday and on Wednesday 19 June, the Bad Godesberg district administration has the final word.
60 young people from throughout Europe developed the idea
If the politicians agree, the idea “that 60 young people from all over Europe developed in 2018” will become a reality, says Rullmann. At that time, the SDW’s “European Summer School – Creating Forest Experiences” took place, during which it was discussed how to implement new leisure time projects in and for forests. The result was the mindfulness path in Bonn. Not only is the SDW based in the federal city, “there is also a lot of forest here,” says Rullmann, explaining why Bad Godesberg was chosen.
The focus is on six stations with various themes: seeing, hearing, smelling, walking, touching and breathing, explains Rullmann. They will be identified by signs with a QR code. Downloading these onto a mobile phone gives an audio commentary – with either a male or female voice. “This is how you are guided through the exercises,” explains the SDW federal manager. You do not have to read anything, just listen – and get involved in the meditation. According to Rullmann, the stations were developed in collaboration with psychologists.
Small arrows will show the way and lead the walker on a two kilometre route through the forest for one and a half to two hours.
According to the municipal draft resolution on which politicians will vote, the aim is to train your own mindfulness. “The visit to the forest should therefore help with mindful behaviour in the forest and in everyday life and leave visitors with a positive feeling,” says the administration. The signs and spoken texts have been developed so, “that they can be used in every bit of forest in every German-speaking region.”
“The project offers an ideal expansion of the current offers in the local city forest,” says the administration. They want to link the mindfulness trail with the biodiversity trail at Venusberg.
(Original text: Ayla Jacob. Translation: kc)