Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "technology"

Track your own nature experience

04/26/16 | View Comments

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
—Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Since the 1970s, health and nature research has integrated self-report questionnaires in understanding human experience. Analysis and design of these kinds of surveys has advanced tremendously, as well as methods to quantify changes in the human brain and body. But, much of what is known over the last few centuries has been based on conscious self-expression from philosophers and poets. Contemporary writers such as Rachel Carson, Jane Austen, and Jack Kerouac share personal accounts of a nature experience. In the past decade, powerful insight and meaning is gleaned from the breadth of experiences documented in Nature Sacred’s Bench Stories.

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The Fine Details: Surprising Outcomes of Nature and Health Research

09/29/15 | View Comments

The Nature Sacred Award Initiative supports several projects investigating how humans benefit from being outside. One of these research projects is combing through the fine details of this overarching research endeavor using eye movement technology. Kardan and colleagues (2015) are investigating what we notice, focus on, prefer and feel when we view nature images. These findings will help landscape designers and therapists understand how to design a nearby nature space. In this newly released study, participants viewed images of natural scenes and were asked to either memorize the image, search for an object, or rate their preference of the scene.

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Reclaiming a Sacred Space for Your Self

06/23/15 | View Comments

In our Open Voices blog we share insight from leaders in our communities who are advancing what it means to have sacred, open green spaces in our cities. This month we discuss the real, lived experience when you rest in nearby nature. Look around you, take a deep breath and allow a moment for your Self.

Friedrichsau, Wasserspiele

Spending time in nature relaxes us. Even after just a few minutes of being in a green space our bodies slide into a relaxation response. You will experience a decrease in blood pressure, a decrease in cortisol output, heightened immunity, a decrease in muscle tension, and an increase in alertness.

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    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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