Nature minutes are a research-based measure of our moments in contact with nature — this could be visually through our windows to the beauty outdoors. I learned about them from Dr. Frances Kuo of the Landscape & Human Health Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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 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, streams, flowering plants, birds, bees, and butterflies has a calming and uplifting effect on the mind and psyche.
Creating that green space takes it one step further in raising the feel good vibrations within individuals and communities.
Blackshear Bridge is doing our best to help as our community in central east Austin becomes more and more verdant, environmentally sustainable, and resilient.
We welcome you to get involved or contribute to our wish list! Feel free to contact me or Steven KiKi Marshall, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you. Love, Donna Hoffman, email@example.com