Nature is good for you.
It can be a walk in the woods that helps to calm your nervous system and spark novel ideas, or a wilderness retreat that helps to reduce symptoms of PTSD or ADHD. But little is actually understood about how nature offers healing effects. What are the mechanisms? How much nature is enough, and to do what? And how enduring are the effects? “Nature” isn’t only limited to places like Yellowstone or Rocky Mountain National Park. Nature abounds in some cities, as well. City parks, tree-lined neighborhoods, your own garden – these are slices of nature that can have huge benefits to your physical and mental health. However, many cities and neighborhoods that lack a healthy tree canopy, and produce a lot of air pollution from vehicle traffic are plagued by high rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, among other illnesses, among residents. At a time when humans around the globe are migrating to cities at rates never seen before, it is critical that cities increasingly become part of the solution, not just a major culprit behind environmental degradation and human disease.
Today’s show is the first in a series we’ll offer on the connections between nature and human health. It’s called “Nature Rx.”
Our three guests today are working in the nexus between environmental conservation and human health, to make cities part of the solution:
- Dr. Ted Smith, director of the Center of Healthy Air, Water and Soil, at the University of Louisville’s Envirome Institute.
- Christopher Hawkins, Urban Conservation Program Manager at The Nature Conservancy.
- Janette Heung, principal and owner of JWG Global, a management consulting and research think tank in Colorado focusing on environmental conservation and public health.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer and Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Contributors: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender
Listen to the show here: