Direct experience in the out-of-doors results in increased creativity, physical competence, social skills, environmental knowledge, confidence, and problem-solving abilities. Plus, it just feels good.
A new global study has revealed that 65% of U.S. parents see it as a “very serious” problem that kids are not spending more time outdoors. (“New Survey Shows Gravity of a Growing, Global Parental Concern: Kids Aren’t Spending Enough Time in Nature.” April, 2, 2014. The Nature Conservancy).
“The more kids are exposed to the great outdoors, the more they appreciate the beauty and value of nature,” says Dr. Beth Stevens, senior vice president, Disney Citizenship, Environment & Conservation. “Simply put, kids who love nature grow up to protect it.” What can parents do? “They are likened to the gatekeepers to nature and they have the power to foster a love of nature in their children-making them happier, healthier, and smarter-just by going outside,” states Stephanie Wear, a scientist for the Nature Conservancy.
Studies show that individuals who live in built up environments suffer disproportionately from mental health deficits, including higher rates of depression and behavioral disorders. However, those who live close to and have access to natural areas experience an immediate, and sustainable, improvement in mental health (Green Spaces Deliver Lasting Mental Health Benefits. January 7, 2014.Environmental Science & Technology).
We live in one of Seattle’s densest, transit-oriented communities. Cheasty holds the potential for providing the residents of our community with access to nature, pedestrian/commuter options, and recreational pursuits. Cheasty Greenspace holds the key to not only reconnecting to nature, but reconnecting to ourselves as well.