Greenspace For Health

It has been known for years that spending time in a natural setting is beneficial for your physical and mental health. But in the past few decades the research has been mounting to prove that access to greenspace is very beneficial. Dr. Kathleen Wolff of Cleveland's Natural History Museum stated, "A growing body of research shows the mental and physical benefit of greenspaces including reduced stress and depression, better immunity, and improved work performance." www.GreenCities:GoodHealth

At the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter, UK, the data from a massive, representative sample of the UK population, about 40.000 households, revealed that these good effects are also more lasting than other benefits that improve a person's well-being such as increased income, job promotion, or other good experiences.

Greenspaces provide a peaceful place to play, relax, study, or exercise according to the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health. They also contribute to improved air quality and reduction of harmful greenhouse gases. Also the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health noted that recent studies have shown that higher levels of green vegetation are associated with decreased mortality and that neighborhood greenery decreases aggressive behavior in adolescents.

The various studies have shown that experiencing time in nature lowers blood pressure, reduces muscle tension related to stress, improves attention, and reduces feelings of fear and anger or aggression. Researches also found that Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms in children are relieved after contact with nature.

In a pilot study, breast cancer survivors who had problems with memory and attention were treated with memory and adaptation training [MAAT] and showed marked improvementin in their scores on neurological tests. More important, they reported better cognitive abilities and quality of life as reported in the journal Cancer Nursing.  MAAT is a structured program of "natural intervention" spending two hours a week, watching birds or trees. They were also instructed to give their full attention to their surroundings.

We are fortunate to have the Cleveland Metroparks West Creek Reservation in such close proximity. There are trails for walking or biking or you can sit in the lounge and observe the many species of birds that come to the feeders. It is a serene atmosphere that provides all the benefits listed above.

We at West Creek Conservancy hope you will enjoy the beauty of West Creek Reservation. We are the nonprofit group who saved the greenspace that became West Creek Reservation. This year we are celebrating our twentieth anniversary. Our mission is to enrich the lives of people in Greater Cleveland by conserving natural habitat, restoring the ecological value and sustainability of urban lands, and expanding neighborhood opportunities to experience nature. For more information about West Creek Conservancy and its projects, please call 216-74(-3720 or check online at www.westcreek.org.

In all our twenty years we have been fortunate to have dedicated and hard-working members, staff, and board members. We invite you to join us in the stewardship of our lands by becoming a member. West Creek Conservancy is a nonprofit 501c3  organization. Donations to West Creek Conservancy are tax deductible.

Irene D Toth

I am a member of the Board of Directories of West Creek Conservancy..  I was a high school teacher of English, American History, and American Government.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 1:06 PM, 09.01.2017