Learn How Plants Can Help Physical, Mental Wellbeing at McHenry County College Speaker Series

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Examine the special connection between humans and plants during McHenry County College’s latest Experts and Insights educational speaker series “Plants, The Forest, and You” Thursday, January 19 at 6 p.m. The session, held in the College’s Luecht Auditorium, will be presented by Horticulture instructor Rich Tobiasz.

Attendees will discover the benefits of shinrin yoku (also known as forest bathing) for physical and mental wellbeing, hear about the simple structure and function of plants, and learn how plants can improve overall health and help modify climate change.

“Stress seems to be a part of American life these days,” said Tobiasz. “Plants, a garden, or a walk in the woods have been shown to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels—all to help reduce stress.”

Tobiasz has an Master of Science Degree in Crop Science from the University of Illinois and is a volunteer Master Gardener for the University of Illinois Extension. He teaches several classes at MCC, including Fruit and Vegetable Production, Specialty Crop Production, Intro to Soils, Plant Problem Diagnosis, and Intro to Plant Science. Tobiasz operates a small organic vegetable farm in Spring Grove, IL with his wife, Wendy.

The session is free and open to the public. Registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

The next Experts and Insights sessions include “Both Sides Now” on February 16 and “To Infinity and Beyond: The World of Disney” on March 16.

Interested participants can register and learn more at www.mchenry.edu/experts. If you need an accommodation or a sign language interpreter, please contact MCC’s Access and Disability Services department at (815) 455-8766 or [email protected].

The Experts and Insights series originally started in 2019 as an opportunity for the community to experience the high quality of education and expertise provided by MCC’s faculty as they present topics in their fields of study.


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