The Mid-Coast Audubon's series of nature talks in partnership with the Camden Public Library kicks off it's new season in September with an online program about nature-based wellness and how birdwatching can be a form of "selfcare."
Research shows that exposure to nature actively reduces stress, depression, and anxiety, while helping build a stronger heart and immune system. Birds are gateways into deeper experiences with nature, magnifying these benefits. Through observation, we can learn not only about birds, but gain insight into our own lives while exploring our connection to the world around us. This fosters stewardship and bolsters conservation. Within the program, Holly Merker will delve into our connections to birds, how to practice Ornitherapy for optimal benefits, and learn about the latest research in the power of nature for overall wellbeing.
ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Merker has been a professional environmental educator and birding instructor for the past two decades, working for: National Audubon, the American Birding Association, Hillstar Nature, and many other organizations. She is also a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide (ANFT).
Passionate about connecting young people to birds, she co-founded the Frontiers in Ornithology Symposium, and has facilitated many young birder groups and teen birding camps. Dedicated to bird conservation, she has been state coordinator/reviewer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird Pennsylvania since 2005.
Merker is lead author of the award-winning book "Ornitherapy: For Your Mind, Body, and Soul" (Crossley Books, 2021) which guides readers into explorations that optimize the wellness benefits birding can provide us.