Jess Miller believes connecting with nature is the best thing for the soul, and sharing stories about it completes us.
As a conservationist and artist, the 37-year-old Novocastrian is launching a project combining both of these passions.
Through her business ‘Weave Projects’ and with the support of Newcastle Libraries, Jess is hosting her first Nature Connection and Journaling workshop in Dudley this Sunday (11 April).
The three-hour event offers a chance for participants to learn methods for creating a deeper sense of connection and understanding of their natural environment.
“There is a whole world happening outside your doorstep,” Jess said.
“Where do the birds in your garden sleep at night? Where do the wallabies in your local nature reserve go to eat every morning? How do predators, weather or season affect an animal’s behaviour and what coincides with your wattles flowering?
“If you pay attention you can learn a lot about yourself, and gain creativity, peacefulness and joy from nature.”
As a former park ranger with degrees in conservation, illustration and environmental science, Jess has learned that many of the answers to life’s stresses can be found in the outdoors.
“If you go to the beach or you look at some green space you immediately feel relaxed, you don’t have as much visual stimulation, there’s a science behind why that space makes you feel relaxed,” she said.
“Physically we are meant to feel good in nature. It’s a natural place to be.
“A lot of people have forgotten that.
“If we spent more time in nature, making a connection with nature, studies show we’d find the motivation to take the next step in our own conservation. We might start asking ourselves aside from recycling, what can I do next?”
Jess suggests learning to record our experiences with nature could be the first step.
Weave Project’s ‘Nature Connection and Journaling – An Introduction’ workshop will be held at Lagoon Trail, Ivy Street in Dudley on Sunday 11 April from 9am to noon.
Participants aged over 16 years are required to bring a blank journal and drawing materials (this can be as simple as a pen or pencil, or other art materials if desired).
Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at eventbrite.