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Certification Programs

Nature and Forest Therapy Guide Certification – Hockley Valley

Train with GIFT to become a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide at Ecology Retreat Centre ( Located near Orangeville, Ontario this site is close to beautiful creeks, diverse forests, and rock formations of the Niagara Escarpment.
Registration Process
  1. Complete the Application Form (see “Apply for Training” link below)

  2. That will trigger an Intake Interview within a couple of weeks, where you can ask any questions you might have about the program and process.

  3. Once complete, and your application has been approved, you will receive an invitation to Register and details on how and when to send payment.

Training Cost and Payment Details

This 8-month program begins with an 8-day in-person intensive, followed by your training practicum and mentorship completed through distance study.

Tuition Costs in CAD (Canadian Funds) $4,800 (meals and accommodation extra)

A Deposit of $1,250 (CA$) is due upon acceptance of the application. A link will be provided for payment.

  • All payments must be in Canadian dollars

  • We accept cash, cheque, e-transfer, credit card, or wire transfers.

  • If your bank supports e-transfer to Canada this is our preferred payment method.

If sending by wire transfer or any other method, please note that you are responsible to cover all bank transfer fees and to ensure the full payment in Canadian dollars arrives in our account.

Payment #1 – deposit of CAD $1,250 upon acceptance of the application.
Payment #2 – one month prior to start of training remaining training fee of CAD $3550 (or $3700 if paying by wire transfer or credit card) + catering accommodation fee (based on Option chosen).

Refund Policy

Our refund policy is as follows: In the event of cancellation, we will do our very best to fill your place. If we fill your place there is a full refund of all but $250, which is retained for administrative costs. If we cannot fill your place the following refund scheme applies. The deposit is non-refundable. Up to 1 month before the training starts there is a refund of 75% (excluding the deposit and any associated banking fees). There is no refund after 1 month before the training starts.

Meal Plan

Meal plan choices for this venue are either Vegetarian or Mixed Diet (which includes some meat). This venue’s chef specializes in high-quality vegetarian food and can easily accommodate Vegan or any other allergies, food sensitivities, or dietary requirements–ONLY IF CLEARLY ORDERED a minimum 3 weeks before the event, though preferably at the time of registration (extra fees may apply depending on the request). Payment in full will be due a minimum of 1 month before the course start date. The meal plan is included in your accommodation price (see below)

  • 8-Day Meal Plan fees (all tax and tip included) $806.29

  • Please identify all allergies and food sensitivities at the time of booking. Extra charges will be applied for some special diets and late order changes.


During COVID we recommend single occupancy, however, shared rooms may be available (share your interest in this with registration). This is a lodge-style building with shared bathrooms and simple, clean, comfortable rooms. NO PETS, please.  A 50% deposit is due at the time of booking. Balance owing a minimum of 1 month before the course start date.

  • Accommodations Pricing for the 8-Day Immersion (all tax and tips included)

    • Single Occupancy Room -Double Bed, Shared Bathroom (lodge style)- $1,086.13 (all tax included) (note these rooms also have one or two additional beds in them that will remain unoccupied during your stay).

    • Double Occupancy room – Shared bathroom (lodge style)- $892.18 (can’t guarantee the availability of this option, but let us know if this interests you)


Payment(s) are to be made after the Application is submitted and approved by our Team. Thank you!

COVID-19 Protocols

It is our most sincere wish to offer training events that keep us all safe. We have no crystal ball to know what the winter of 2024 will look like. Our training is always, and intentionally small groups, and s much as possible we are outside, however when inside appropriate personal bubbles are respected and we have chosen venues that can accommodate this. Where possible, we have arranged for single occupancy rooms, however, this venue also offers double occupancy rooms for those who choose that.

We will follow local Public Health Advisories regarding vaccination for travel and gatherings as recommended from time to time by jurisdiction.

Please know that if something changes and you are not able to attend an event because of your vaccination status (and public health recommendations), then 100% of your deposit can be allocated to any future training as long as there is space remaining in the training you wish to attend, and a MINIMUM one month’s notice before your registered program (if/when public health advisories provide that notice. In a nutshell…..please advise us asap if this might affect your ability to attend.)

If Public Health Advisories do not allow for gathering at the scheduled time for this event, 100% of your tuition and payments may be applied to ANY future GIFT training event.

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