Learn how plants can boost well-being at MCC's speaker series

  • Horticulture instructor Rich Tobiasz will present "Plants, The Forest, and You" on Thursday, Jan. 19 at MCC.

    Horticulture instructor Rich Tobiasz will present "Plants, The Forest, and You" on Thursday, Jan. 19 at MCC. Courtesy of McHenry County College

Submitted by McHenry County College
Posted1/12/2023 3:23 PM

Examine the special connection between humans and plants during McHenry County College's latest "Experts & Insights" educational speaker series "Plants, The Forest, and You" on Thursday, Jan. 19. The program will be presented by Horticulture instructor Rich Tobiasz.

It will begin at 6 p.m. in the college's Luecht Auditorium, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.


Attendees will discover the benefits of shinrin yoku (also known as forest bathing) for physical and mental well-being, 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," Tobiasz said. "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 holds a 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 with his wife, Wendy.

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

The next "Experts & Insights" session will be on Feb. 16 with the theme, "Both Sides Now" with Pat Gaughan, who teaches World Music and guitar at MCC, and Nancy Maio, a violin teacher. This live musical presentation featuring vocals, guitar, and fiddle journeys back in time to the 1960s and '70s through the important music of several women folk musicians. Explore social justice, civil rights, peace movements, and feminism through the songs of artists such as Joni Mitchell, Mary Travers, Joan Baez, and Judy Collins.

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On March 16, it will be "To Infinity and Beyond: The World of Disney" on March 16. Join MCC faculty Jim Stockwell and Rob Allare in exploring the magical world of Walt Disney through his theme parks and movies. Discover the history behind the two coastal locations and the rides that inspired (and were inspired by) the most successful canon of films in American cinema. Learn why Disney considered imagination the most valuable tool in creating anything.

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 disabilityservices@mchenry.edu.

The "Experts & 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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