When WYLD first got the garden going at Carver, our idea was a way to reach the kids in order to hand out forms and recruit them for he weekend forays into the natural zones around Los Angeles. We also knew gardening and understanding where one's food comes from was important, but there were other benefits we did not foresee right away. What we found was that on a campus that is mostly asphalt, the garden also served as a calm environment where kids could relax, and they visibly did so. We also found that the connections the youth made from the garden to the walking trails were deep and exponential. We were sold on the gardening program. And while WYLD is definitely vested in kids learning the flora and fauna of the natural spaces we visit, and the history of the native people who live and used thrive here, we also know that some benefits don't need to be extrinsically taught. Here is an article further supporting what many already know, about Nature as 'Therapy."
"…more than 50% of people live in urban areas (increasing to >70% by 2050). Increased urbanization is associated with increased levels of mental illness, particularly anxiety and depression. Growing up in a rural setting correlates with a less acute stress response, and exposure to greenspace significantly correlates to a positive effect on well-being in a large two-decade study. Images and sounds of a natural environment can decrease stress in people exposed to negative stimuli. A large survey of mental health and neighborhood greenspace in Wisconsin showed significant correlation between the availability of nature and lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. There are many studies showing a similar relationship between nature exposure, relaxation, and well-being. But how does exposure to green space help us relax and unwind, exactly?"
Find out HERE.
And as we modern humans work to regain our understanding and connections with nature, we found this article on how trees talk, and how we can hear them. As we work to heal our relationship with nature, and each other, we like the idea of learning from the trees, who are the very givers of the air we breath.
"I want to change the way you think about forests. You see, underground there is this other world, a world of infinite biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate and allow the forest to behave as though it’s a single organism. It might remind you of a sort of intelligence."
Learn more about this network of roots and fungi HERE.
Happy Nature Walking. See you out under a tree!