Nature-Based Interventions

At the Wisconsin Hawthorn Project, we believe that connection with nature significantly contributes to healing, stress reduction, and resilience. All of our trainings will include experiential activities that support nature (re)connection, and the Train-the-Trainer Learning Collaborative will include consulting and technical assistance in practical applications at your workplace.

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.
— John Muir, Our National Parks

As part of the trauma-informed curriculum, we will also explore the ways in which exploitation of the land is interconnected with patterns of exploitation and abuse of people. Bearing witness to the human tendency to wound other humans requires that we must also observe our history of wounding and abusing other species.

We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
— Aldo Leopold

Don't overthink— just do.

Equine-Facilitated Healing

Horses have been shown to be an effective means for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as many other social, emotional, and physical needs. From hippotherapy (working with horses to support occupational therapy, physical therapy, and/or speech therapy goals), to equine psychotherapy, horses show up time and time again to reflect our behavioral patterns back to us, ultimately inviting us to try new ways of behaving.

Horses in the context of the Wisconsin Hawthorn Project will be included in the Train-the-Trainer Learning Collaborative and ongoing technical assistance. No prior horse experience is necessary. The horses will be incorporated at a pace that adapts to each person’s comfort. With the horses, we will explore patterns of leadership, parenting/caregiving, and relationships in general.

Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem.
They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls. They give us hope!
— Toni Robinson

“Bean Germination in Spectacular Time Lapse” video is ripe with metaphors about nervous system growth and development.

“Meghalaya’s Living Root Bridges” demonstrates how in the face of adverse weather conditions, a community can connect with nature, and each other, over time to create a creative, resilient, and sustainable solution.

In “Intense winds cause Quebec forest to “breathe”, we see the intense resilience that happens with inter-dependence. When root systems mingle and share space, the trees can handle much more brutal winds than if they stood alone.

Photo Credit

All horse photos were taken by Heather McManamy at ShortHorse Studios.




Interested in Nature-Based or Equine-Facilitated
Team Building and Technical Assistance?

As the Wisconsin Hawthorn Project develops, trauma-informed technical assistance and team-building will be available
on a limited basis. Don’t miss your opportunity to bring innovative strategies to your team!