Nature Therapy Center LogoWhat is a Certified Nature Therapy Space?

Nature therapy is an approach to well-being that emphasizes meaningful exposure to nature. Human-nature connection is associated with myriad benefits, such as reduced stress and improved attention space, for folks of all ages. For more details, see our summary infographics on the benefits and types of nature therapy.

The Nature Therapy Center at the Natural Wellness Academy revolutionized formal nature therapy guide training with a nature-student-mentor triad that reduced gatekeeping. Now we further expand the field with our Certified Nature Therapy Space program, an accessible, exceptional designation that recognizes that nature therapy can happen wherever humans and nature connect.

Our expert-led holistic review process considers the gestalt, allowing us to recognize more traditional as well as unconventional nature therapy settings. We emphasize and celebrate the unique attributes of each nature space, whether a stately oak bringing joy in the cityscape, a farm where children delight to pick blackberries, or an expansive forest where guests (figuratively) lose themselves for horus. A panel of nature therapy guides, chaired by our lead faculty, considers, at core, “Does this setting encourage being present with nature?”

Why should I certify my space?

Independent recognition of your nature space can benefit parks, preserves, gardens, resorts, retreats, realtors, estates, farms, schools, healthcare facilities, individuals, and more seeking to:

  • Document and celebrate the unique features of your nature space
  • Recognize and encourage stewardship efforts for your nature space
  • Foster public awareness and appreciation of your nature space
  • Promote nature therapy and the benefits of nature-human connection
  • Demonstrate the special value your business provides to clients, especially relative to competitors that do not offer nature therapy spaces

How does certification work?

A sponsor submits an application for a candidate nature space, responding to a questionnaire designed to tease out its best features (preview the form here). As described above, we utilize an expert-led review process that considers the gestalt, with an emphasis on understanding how the space encourages presence with nature. You can meet our experts here.

Within 30 days, our review panel returns a recommendation to approve without qualification, approve conditionally pending improvements, approve conditionally pending major improvements, or rate not eligible. Sites needing improvements have 60 days to implement improvements, verification of which will convert their rating to approved. Sites deemed non-eligible will receive a refund, less a 10% processing fee. All applications and certifications are subject to our terms.

Feel free to reach out to cortney@naturalwellnessacademy.org with any questions or to schedule a scoping call to see if your nature space would be a good candidate for our program.

What’s included?

Approved sites receive:

  • A beautiful printed certificate of your space’s designation as a Certified Nature Therapy Space
  • A decal of the Certified Nature Therapy Space seal
  • A short written statement celebrating the specific traits that make the space outstanding
  • A link to an e-badge that allows for live verification of your credential (for sharing via social media, websites, and email signature)
  • Discounts if you decide to enroll in one or more of the Academy professional coaching certification programs
  • Optionally, a post on the Academy’s blog about your space

What costs are involved?

The all-inclusive fee is currently $399, which covers the application and review process, materials (certificate and decal), and shipping. In the spirit of expanding nature therapy access and recognizing a diversity of nature spaces, we have kept the certification cost at less than half that of our peers!

The designation is valid for three years, and renewal entails an expedited review at half-fee.

How do I apply?

After you checkout using the button below, you will immediately receive a link to the online application form. You can preview the application here.