It seems sort of intuitive these days that nature plays a beneficial role in our overall health management strategy – witness the reports of people here in Canada heading to the outdoors (sanctioned or no) looking for physical and mental stress relief from the pandemic lockdown that began in March 2020.
Just today (April 17 2020) BC’s head doc Dr. Bonnie Henry shared some interesting stats showing that when the group restrictions came into effect in BC in March 2020, visits to parks increased, presumably as people looked to nature to address their physical and mental health needs. (I’ve included the graph below for the nerdy amongst us. The green line is park usage over time.)
Long story short: Nature nurtures us. Study after study has shown that we need nature in order to be our best selves. Nature affects things as measurable as our cardiovascular health (Donovan et al., 2013) and levels of anxiety and anger (Mantler & Logan, 2015).
So what’s that got to do with us, you say? When we here in BC have “flattened the curve” to the point where we are allowed more social freedom, we will once again be running our programs so you can get your nature-health-groove on. Spring is finally here, our trails are in fine shape, and we’re ready to share the peace and solitude of our Rocky Mountain paradise. The migratory birds are winging their way back north; the deer and elk are moving up the mountain as the snows melt; the world here is slowly waking up and carrying on the cycle of life that is as old as time.
Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. - Mary Oliver
When the time is right, meet us on the mountain. You belong here. See ya soon!
Donovan, G., Butry, D., Michael, Y., Prestemon, J., Liebhold, A., Gatziolis, D., & Mao, M. (2013). The relationship between trees and human health: Evidence from the spread of the emerald ash borer. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 44(2), 139-135.
Mantler, A., & Logan, A. (2015). Natural environments and mental health. Advances in Integrative Medicine, 2(1), 5-12.