Our Team

“Forest bathing is a sensory immersion in green light and birdsong that leaves the bather renewed and clean.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer, Author of Braiding Sweetgrass

Christe Tappan - Birchwalking

To learn more about Christine’s professional background as a health and human services senior executive, leader, clinical practitioner, and educator, you’re welcome to look at her profile on LinkedIn. Or to connect directly with Christine you can go to Forest Bathing Finder or complete the form below.

Christine Tappan

MSW, CAGS, CWMF

Christine is the founder and lead guide for BirchWalking, a social impact organization that “brings beings together in nature and creates safe spaces to deepen connections that promote resiliency and capacity for all to thrive and live well”.

BirchWalking provides a range of nature connected experiences including guided forest therapy walks and mindfulness for individuals, families, groups, and teams in New Hampshire and beyond both in person and virtually. Christine’s inspiration to become a certified workplace mindfulness facilitator and forest therapy guide came from her own experiences as a health and human services professional and leader experiencing burnout and vicarious trauma. After traditional trauma treatments failed to relieve her symptoms, Christine attended a multi-day forest bathing and mindfulness retreat and experienced profound benefits that lasted over time. She subsequently undertook training through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT) to become a certified guide and now offers tailored forest bathing experiences for individual health and human services practitioners, as well as teams, leaders, and organizations. Christine is also a volunteer with the Old Growth Forest Network where she is a County Coordinator for two counties in New Hampshire, Rockingham and Strafford, leading efforts to identify and preserve old growth forests.  She is also a member of the Advisory Group and Climate Justice Workgroup for the NH Healthcare Workers for Climate Action.

Christine has a Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Michigan and Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire.  She also holds a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Education & Leadership from Plymouth State University and is a Certified Forest and Nature Therapy Guide and Trail Consultant through the Association for Nature and Forest Therapists (ANFT). Christine is also certified as a Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator (CWMF) through the Mindful Leader Institute, Brown University.

Suzanna Fletcher - Birchwalking

To learn more about Suzanna’s professional background as a live-in worked in a group home, a court involved family therapist, a behavior coach, director and creator of an Autism Clinic, to a evaluator of Veterans, you are welcome to look at her profile on LinkedIn. Or to connect directly with Suzanna, you can go to Forest Bathing Finder or complete the form below.

Suzanna Fletcher

M.Ed., MS, Psy.D.

Suzanna is the Chief of Clinical Practices and a forest therapy guide for BirchWalking, a social impact organization that provides environments for people to awaken and deepen connections with nature beings for the benefit of both. These connections may promote relaxation, deeper self-awareness, creativity, flexibility, closer connections with others and nature beings, and many other positive effects.

BirchWalking provides a range of nature connected experiences including guided forest therapy walks and mindfulness for individuals, families, groups, and teams both in person and virtually. Suzanna’s inspiration to become a certified forest therapy guide came from her work in the mental health field over the past 25 plus years with very diverse populations and environments, including:

  • Supporting children and families as an in-home family therapist
  • Being the owner and operator of an outdoor adventure-based company that worked with youth and corporate teams on team building, creative problem solving, realizing strengths and others
  • Building resiliency in individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families, and
  • Serving veterans with posttraumatic stress or chronic pain due to military service-connected injuries.

Suzanna participated in a forest therapy walk with Christine Tappan, and experienced a sense of relaxation, deeper self-awareness, and aliveness that was profound during this experience. She subsequently completed a 6-month course with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy guides and Programs (ANFT) to become a Forest Therapy Guide and now offers tailored forest bathing experiences for groups, families, and professional teams. She resides and works in North Carolina from the middle of October to the middle of May and in New Hampshire from the middle of May to the middle of October. Suzanna has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the Wheaton College. She has a Master’s of Education Degree from the University of New Hampshire. She also has a Master’s of Science degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Psychology from Antioch University New England. She is a member of the American Psychological Association.

Charmaine Brittain

Charmaine Brittain

MSW, Ph.D.

Charmaine Brittain lives in the shadows of the glorious Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  For most of her professional career, Charmaine has been dedicated to improving people’s work experiences as an expert in workforce and organizational development in the human services sector. Over the years, Charmaine has implemented large change projects and transformed training systems in child and family-serving agencies in more than 30 states across the United States. She specializes in developing engaging training and learning experiences to ready the human services workforce to build knowledge and skills so they can serve their clients more effectively. By helping organizations move through change and implement meaningful strategies, they can realize their missions and provide opportunity and job satisfaction for staff. Charmaine has always been motivated by mission-oriented endeavors and that feeds the next phase in her journey.

Charmaine’s journey to nature and forest therapy guiding was so natural, resulting from her love of the outdoors and connecting with people.  Though it wasn’t without some skepticism.  As a self-confessed type-A personality, she didn’t think she could let go of the control and let the forest be the therapist.  Then she experienced the quietude of nature and letting go to really listen and engage with all her senses. Now her mission is to extend that same experience to others so that they too can understand nature-connected wellness.

Charmaine earned an MSW from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.  In Spring 2024, Charmaine will complete her certification as a Forest Bathing Guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides & Programs.

Siobhán Connelly

Siobhán Connelly

B.A.

Siobhán (pronounced sha-vawn) Connelly is a lifelong outdoorswoman and leapt at the opportunity to attend a Forest Therapy walk offered to the Family Resource Center team led by Christine Tappan. This walk prompted her to realize how infrequently her teammates spent time outside, and, witnessing the emotional responses several of them experienced fully piqued her interest in this practice. She gratefully accepted a scholarship offered by BirchWalking in addition to support from her workplace in order to gain certification from the ANFT.

She is excited by the adaptability ANFT guiding provides and feels it is a way she can happily bridge two passions in her life together: nature-based wellness and helping people. Siobhán has been a diligent family advocate since 2015, currently serving her community as the Adverse Childhood Experiences Response Team Coordinator. She was the recipient of the National Healthy Families America Outstanding Supervisor Award in September 2019.

Siobhán holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (B.A.) from Lesley University. Much of her study area focused particularly on trauma and its effect on human relationships. She is an artist and has practiced Yoga-asana since her very early teens and spent many years sharing her practice both in the studio and privately. Her spare time is spent with her children and out among the beings, land, and waters around her home.

Get In Touch

Contact Christine and Suzanna to discuss your individual, family, team, group, or organizational needs and codesign a nature connected wellness experience oriented towards building resiliency and capacity for all humans and beings to live well and thrive together.

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