Nature minutes are a research-based measure of human moments in contact with nature that Dr. Frances Kuo of the Landscape & Human Health Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign describes.
Dr. Kuo spoke on a panel for Imagine Austin’s speaker series Integrating Nature into the City on December 10 at the LBJ Conference Center. The Laboratory’s multi-disciplinary approach and members’ research offers a wealth of information for everyone involved in sustainability and outdoors education.
The research “firmly established the importance of trees and greenspace to stronger, safer communities and robust concentration, self-control, and coping in individuals.”
The Laboratory’s most recent publication found that “Children with attention deficits concentrate better after a walk in the park.”
The Laboratory’s latest work in progress, “the Capacity to Learn study will examine the effects of schoolyard nature on children’s learning and academic achievement as reflected in standardized test scores. With this study, we hope to convincingly document whether children learn more in green school settings.”
So. Just what are nature minutes?
Nature minutes could mean time spent looking out the window at the trees visible outside.
Nature minutes could mean getting elbow deep in creating new soil for your vegetable garden.
Or planting a new tree.
This exposure to nature has many benefits!
Gazing meditatively on nature — trees, flowing streams, flowering plants, birds, bees, dung beetles, butterflies — has a calming and uplifting effect on the mind and psyche.
Creating green space takes that effect one step further by raising the feel good vibration of stewardship with our communities.
Blackshear Bridge is working with our communities in central east Austin to make our neighborhood green spaces more verdant, environmentally sustainable, and resilient.
You can too! We welcome you to get involved or make a contribution to help out.
Contact me or Steven KiKi Marshall, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love and plenty of nature minutes to you!
Donna Hoffman, email@example.com
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