Sunday, 2 April 2017

Access to nature reduces depression and obesity, finds European study | Society | The Guardian

Access to nature reduces depression and obesity, finds European study | Society | The Guardian


“The evidence is strong and growing that people and communities can only thrive when they have access to nature,” said Robbie Blake, a nature campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, which commissioned the analysis......“We all need nature in our lives, it gives us freedom and helps us live healthily; yet deprived communities are routinely cut off from nature in their surroundings and it is suffocating for their well-being.”

In Chicago and Philadelphia, the Difference a Park Makes - The New York Times

In Chicago and Philadelphia, the Difference a Park Makes - The New York Times

“Urban policy often focuses too much just on housing,” Mr. Emanuel told me, grateful to focus on what has become a central plank of his administration and not talk policing or murder rates. “Housing alone doesn’t make a neighborhood.”

City of Denver focusing on making natural playgrounds



City of Denver focusing on making natural playgrounds

“The most important part of this is we just want kids to connect to nature in a way that I remember when I was a kid, but we know is missing from most of their lives now,” Bienenstock said. “It turns out that playgrounds, where their parents will take them, are one of the few places where they can have this experience.”
...... Emily Patterson, parks for people program manager for the Trust for Public Land, believes the appeal in natural playgrounds is connecting youth to the outdoors in ways that let their imagination take over and open doors to exploring more of the terrain. She noted numerous barriers that prevent some youth from experiencing the outdoors.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Brain + Nature = Healthy - Bay Nature

Brain + Nature = Healthy - Bay Nature

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above

NATURE IS RESTORATIVE; that’s practically a truism to anyone who loves the outdoors. The effects start within minutes and can be long-lasting, even transformative, when nature works on us over the course of days or weeks. Scientific research now confirms what we already know: We become more relaxed, more open and friendly, and more creative, with better memory and concentration, after being in nature. Nature lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and bolsters our immune system. In fact, the benefits from contact with nature are now so well documented that they’re showing up on the health care industry’s agenda, and protecting nature can be seen as a public health strategy.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Experts call for official guidelines on child screen use | Society | The Guardian

Experts call for official guidelines on child screen use | Society | The Guardian

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above


"A group of leading authors, educationalists and child-development experts is calling on the government to introduce national guidelines on the use of screens, amid concern about the impact on children’s physical and mental health.... It calls for the development of kindergarten-style education for three- to seven-year-olds, with emphasis on social and emotional development and outdoor play; and says guidelines on screen-based technology for children up to 12 should be drawn up by recognised authorities on child health and development.......“If children are to develop the self-regulation and emotional resilience required to thrive in modern technological culture, they need unhurried engagement with caring adults and plenty of self-directed outdoor play, especially during their early years (0–7),”"

Saturday, 8 October 2016

A breath of fresh air: City of Grand Rapids aims to reconnect children with nature

A breath of fresh air: City of Grand Rapids aims to reconnect children with nature

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above


An annual event hosted by the mayor's youth council, KidsSpeak brings together local children to focus on a particular issue, ultimately creating written testimonies that are presented to the community....... Some nervous and some polished, these student presenters bravely expressed their thoughts about the city's natural areas, saying, "green spaces are not something you can brush aside" and "losing [green things] in the city means losing our compassion for the world around us, and ultimately, each other." Many expressed regret over the loss of their connection to nature and time spent in parks and playgrounds. "We don't play outside anymore," said one presenter. "We are disregarding natural spaces more and more."

One younger student expressed her views clearly and with conviction. "No playgrounds? Don't ever say no playgrounds to me," she said. "How would the city look like if there were no trees, flowers or wildlife?…It would look dark and gloomy." ..... "My hope for this city is that we not only maintain our parks, but proliferate them. Through that we can allow more children to have experiences of joy and compassion…If we understand the world around us. We can understand each other better,"

Vancouver-area children take learning to the forest | Metro News

Vancouver-area children take learning to the forest | Metro News

The full article can be read through the hyperlink above

"Learning outdoors helps children understand their "ability to navigate risks" and increases their physical capacity, said Edgar. It helps them "feel strong and powerful and offers them a positive social environment." Outdoor learning has also been associated with improved concentration and cognitive development.

Forest schools differ from more traditional outdoor education in that they offer repeated access to a natural space, centred around child-led, play-based learning, "observing the child's interests, documenting them, and then introducing items that foster interest," Edgar said."