Thrive with Nature Resources

Interactive Online Course:

A Daily Nature Practice online course

A Daily Nature Practice:

Playful Self-Care for Healthcare Professionals

Enrollment for the next cohort will open again in September 2020 for a September 26 start date. 

If you'd like to start before then, click here to sign up to my email list, and you'll receive a special discount offer as a welcome gift.

For Recreation Therapists: Online course content is CE Pre-Approved by NCTRC for 12 hours of continuing education.

“I really enjoy your evidence-based information and the course was awesome – I would love to take another course with you, on just about anything!”  – Jessica, Recreation Therapist & Registered Nurse, Canada

“One of the most intriguing and most useful, practical courses I’ve taken in quite a while. So fun, informative and extremely useful practice of self care that can often be neglected. I was skeptical of online, but content was fun, delivered with a variety of tools such as video, poems, books. Such a perfect way to learn at my own pace. Loved it! Thank you!”  – Anonymous student evaluation

Scroll down further to read another section about my online course (there's a free webinar too).

Self-Care Poster:

Self-care by nature posterClick here to download and print poster'Practice self-care by noticing nearby nature

For the reference list with links to online journal articles click here 

Noticing nearby nature is an evidence-based strategy for reducing stress and burnout and improving work performance, among many other benefits.

Please share this self-care poster with healthcare workers to support them during this challenging time. Print and post it where they'll see it, or email them with this link:, or share the poster from my social media posts:


Other Resources:

  • For illustrated garden activity signs, click here 
  • For free webinar, 'Nature in the Workplace: Professional Self-Care for Healthcare Providers', scroll down this page for info, & sign up to my mailing list for instant access.

Who's offering all these goodies? Scroll down to learn about me and what I offer.

Thank you to our hard-working healthcare workers!

lilac picket fence - thrive with nature

About Me

My name is Shelagh Smith and I’m here to help you thrive with nature: to notice nearby nature while you go about your day; to enjoy the benefits for yourself; and to offer simple evidence-based activities to your patients and clients so they, too, can thrive with nature.

Engaging with nearby nature is on the threshold of becoming a well-established healthcare practice.

The research is coming fast and furious, but it can be a slow process to translate that research into practice in our daily lives and in caring for others. That’s where I can be useful.

As a horticultural therapist and educator, I can help you apply the latest research to enhance your own health, well-being and productivity, as well as that of your patients and clients. Read more about my qualifications at the end of this page.

I teach healthcare and social service providers:

1. to notice nearby nature in daily life for personal and professional self-care, and

2. to offer simple garden and nature programming for health promotion and therapeutic intervention.

Check out my free webinar, transformative online course, illustrated garden activity signs and instructive blog posts, all described below.

I hope you’ll find something here that’s useful for you.

Banfield Pavilion long-term care home garden patio

Free Webinar

Nature in the Workplace:
Professional Self-Care for Recreation Therapists
(and other Healthcare Providers)

Free Webinar with Shelagh Smith, HTR, MAEEC
Hosted by the BC Therapeutic Recreation Association
Pre-approved by NCTRC for 1 contact hour of education or .10 CEU

Live event was on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 12 noon PDT

Recording link is now available,
along with worksheet, resource list & CEU application
Sign up just below

Webinar Description

The leafy green world that we inhabit is so easy to take for granted, and yet research shows that if we pay attention to nearby nature, we feel better and function more effectively. Discover simple, enjoyable activities for noticing nearby nature that fit your work site, work schedule and your personal preferences. This evidence-based, professional self-care practice is quick and easy to implement. Best of all: you’re likely to feel the benefits right away!

You know that feeling of expansion, like there’s suddenly more room to breathe? It’s waiting for you, closer than you think!

You’ll learn how to notice nearby nature to:

  • immediately reduce fatigue,
  • increase your creativity and productivity, and
  • have more energy at the end of the work day.

Free Webinar CEUs for Recreation Therapists

You'll be granted a CEU attendance certificate after you provide beginning and end codes and reply to 3 questions based on the webinar content. This offer applies until August 7, 2020. 

After watching the webinar, Akiko said:

"Thank you for the webinar, Shelagh! It was very educational and helpful, packed with great suggestions and ideas that can be easily put in practice right away. Loved it!"

Akiko Hara, Healthcare Practitioner

Cliff emailed me to say:

I wanted to share with you that I absolutely loved your webinar “Nature in the Workplace”. It was so inspiring and professional.

You do great and important work spreading the word about self-care and nature…a marriage made in heaven.

Cliff Thorbes, Mental Health Instructor & Therapeutic Horticulturist, West Vancouver, BC

To receive the webinar link:

Emma wrote to me about the webinar:

“As always, lots to takeaway.

I did laugh when you mentioned that people underestimate the benefits of time spent in nature, because I think you underestimate the huge benefits your trainings provide (even for those of us who have heard it before).

Thanks again for keeping me sane and happy.”

Emma Rooney, Creativity Facilitator & Founder of Blooming Caravan, Toronto, Ontario

And Maura said:
Hello Shelagh: thank you for sharing all you have with the public! I am now your fan!
Maura Miller, PhD, ACHPN, Director, Hospice and Palliative Care, West Palm Beach VA Medical Center Hospice

my daily nature practice online course

Online Course

A Daily Nature Practice: Playful Self-Care for Healthcare Professionals

Are you crazy busy caring for others? Need more self-care so you can continue to do what you’re good at? 

Noticing nearby nature may be just the thing you need to enjoy your day, while increasing your energy, effectiveness and life satisfaction.

For Recreation Therapists: Online course content is CE Pre-Approved by NCTRC for 12 hours of continuing education.

For more about the course and to enroll, click here to sign up to my email list and receive a special discount offer (and a slew of freebies!)

We tend to underestimate how much better we’ll feel when we focus our attention, however briefly, on the natural world around us: gazing at clouds, watching leaves dance in the breeze, or listening to birdsong.

Yes, even the green and blue spaces of an urban environment.

Emma said:

"As a result of taking Shelagh's course, I realize how important it is to give myself a nature prescription. Even though the primary focus of my work is helping people connect with nature, I was always too busy caring for the well-being of others to take a break on my lunch hour. Now I find myself eating outside, going for a quick walk, or stopping to pick flowers.
I realize that I have more to give by giving myself permission to take a break and look around. I don't have to go far to feel reconnected to nature and part of something greater than myself."  
Emma Rooney, Creativity Facilitator & Founder, Blooming Caravan, Toronto, Ontario

My interactive online course is designed primarily for healthcare and social service providers, and for caregivers. Join me in this 8-week guided experience to establish a pleasurable daily practice of noticing nearby nature for personal and professional self-care.

The course includes a playful and profound mix of science, nature art, poetry, photos and quotes, as well as personal reflections and experiential activities. All designed to inspire, equip and empower you to transform the way you feel and function in your daily life.

If you (like me) have the best of intentions, but need inspiration, encouragement and a few gentle nudges to care for yourself the way you deserve, you're not alone.

For more about the course and to enroll, click here to sign up to my email list and receive a special discount offer (and a slew of freebies!)

 Carol's insight while taking the online course:

"I usually do not take a break in the morning. It was a nice surprise - how refreshed and how much joy I feel by just pausing for a few minutes to do a simple nature-based activity in the middle of my morning. Also, a surprise for me to learn that a break does not have to be very long to be effective. Seems to give me energy for the day."

Carol Shoji, British Columbia, Canada

Garden Activity Signs

Garden activity signs invite your garden visitors to independently engage with plants and listen for songbirds. They’ll know which flowers and herbs are worth smelling, and which plants need water more often. Invite them to sweep, harvest, and enjoy the garden’s delights.

Click on links to see signs:

Signs are also available individually or in sets of 6. Click here to choose.


Shelagh's Blog

My blog posts may be of interest if you’re a healthcare or social service provider, including recreation therapists and garden program leaders who wish to offer simple therapeutic garden and nature programming.

Click on titles to read the most popular posts (or click here to see all posts):

Shelagh's Qualifications

Shelagh Smith, HTR, MAEEC

Shelagh Smith, HTR, MAEEC, is a professional gardener, registered horticultural therapist and ecological educator. Shelagh is passionate about promoting health and well-being through daily engagement with nearby nature.

For 23 years, Shelagh developed and led therapeutic garden programs for care home residents, while supervising and mentoring many students and volunteers. She taught people with mental health issues how to grow their own food, collaborated on the design of restorative and enabling gardens, and taught a certificate program for budding horticultural therapists.

Currently, Shelagh inspires and teaches online in hopes of benefiting a wider audience with the evidence-based practice of engaging with nearby nature for health promotion and therapeutic intervention.

She lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada and loves to travel on the back roads of British Columbia with her husband and their tiny Trillium trailer.

Click here to contact Shelagh

Nature in the Workplace as Professional Self-Care