Spending time outdoors has healing power, and without trees we would not exist. The Inspiration Forest lifts spirits and reminds people to Be Kind, Be Brave, Be Courageous, and Be Awesome. Take a walk in the inspiration forest and be reminded that you are Remarkable!
How it Started
It all started with a bike ride and a walk in the woods behind my sister's Elementary School. Her and I have shared the same moto for years "Be Great Be You". As a principal she uses this message at her school and I will forever share this message through art.
2020 was a year like no other, and together we worked to make the best of the stress and uncertainty around us. Like many, we were confined to our home, missed seeing friends and family, and had a lot of extra time on our hands. COVID had turned our lives upside down, and after losing our jobs, my husband, kids, and I turned to nature. I found morning walks in the woods helped calm my anxiety and thought the local community could benefit from a clean forest to walk through and enjoy.
The Clean Up
OUR STRATEGY: Pickup up trash and glass, paint benches, and clear the path.
The Wood Burning
Once the forest was cleaned up we decided we could share the BGBU mission on the trees. My father had recently passed away and left me his wood burning tool. I found myself gathering scrap wood, and burning inspirational messages to hang in the forest.
We selected trees along the path and decided what message they would hold. It took four months to create the signs that you'll find throughout the forest.
Looking back I realize making the inspiration forest kept me positive during an uncertain time and helped me keep my sanity.
The Place To Gather
Gathering inside is not as easy as it once was, come to the forest and enjoy a quiet place to sit. Somedays you may find teachers with their classes out in the woods.
The students at Gallimore started to get involved in contributing to The forest. Now the entryway welcomes visitors with brick pavers that reflect what makes each child happy. This wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Cheryl the art Mom and now head of PTO president. More to come in the spring of 2023.
Forest signs created by students
Enjoy a Walk and Take a Photo in Front of Your Favorite Message
We're Looking for Volunteers
"I have always loved the outdoors, I believe its the road to no where and the road to everywhere."
"There's so much uncertainty in life, and often the only thing you have control is your attitude. I choose to be an optimist and I hope The Inspiration forest shines a light on you."