Winter Well-Being Webinar


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Winter Well-Being: How mindfulness in nature improves our lives and Gorge conservation efforts

Have you ever sensed how being outdoors dissolves anxiety, doubt, or judgment and can switch off relentless replays of negative thoughts? In winter we may long for footloose outdoor spontaneity of long summer days but with a bit of planning and mindfulness, wintertime experiences in nature can bring many benefits.

Join us on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 6 p.m. (Pacific) for a live, special webinar exploring how connections to nature can help cultivate a lasting sense of personal well-being and in turn aid in efforts to protect and steward the Columbia Gorge and other PNW natural treasures, even in the heart of winter.

Natural resource social scientist Ellen Donoghue, Ph. D.—founder of Ardent Nature and Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network member—will illustrate how being mindful as we experience nature can help incline our brain in a more positive direction using examples of Columbia Gorge and regional wildlife, including online “critter cams.” Friends Executive Director Kevin Gorman will include tips on ways to safely get outside, enjoy Gorge trails, and stay engaged in conservation efforts during the winter months. The session will include a moderated audience Q&A.

This webinar will be hosted via Zoom and will be a free event open to all. The webinar will be recorded and uploaded to Friends' YouTube page within a few days of the recording.

Featured Speakers:

Ellen Donoghue, Ph. D., is a natural resource social scientist who began studying the connections between people and nature in the 1990s with her work in collaborative resource management in Guatemala and the Philippines. In 1999, the U.S. Forest Service hired Ellen to expand knowledge about resource-based community development in the Pacific Northwest. Ellen since has been a wilderness guide and dog musher, including in Alaska where she trained and raced her sled dog team through some of the wildest landscapes on the planet and gave inspirational presentations to over 100,000 tourists. A resident of Mosier, Oregon, in the heart of the Columbia Gorge, Ellen is the founder of Ardent Nature—an empowerment and resilience coaching practice for individuals, groups, and organizations. She is actively involved in, and a former Board member of Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network (CGCAN).

Kevin Gorman is an active Gorge hiker and Friends’ executive director. Kevin oversees all the activities of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, as well as its land trust, which currently owns 1,500 acres of land. Kevin joined the organization in 1998 and during his tenure Friends has grown from eight staff and one office to 22 staff and three offices; net assets have grown from $750,000 to $22 million. Kevin helped lead the Campaign for Cape Horn and Preserve the Wonder to acquire over 500 acres of land. He also assisted in creating two nonprofits in the Gorge: the Klickitat Trail Conservancy and the Cape Horn Conservancy. Kevin was previously the associate director of Oregon Natural Resources Council (now Oregon Wild) and has served as board president for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts and EarthShare Oregon, a workplace giving organization.

Q&A Moderator & Host

Kassy Delgado is Friends of the Columbia Gorge’s community engagement specialist and an avid hiker with over a decade of experience in working to connect communities with nature.

(photo: winter at Columbia Hills State Park, by Debbie Asakawa)