Our National Nature Sacred Awards program, established in 2013, has contributed to this scientific base of knowledge, deepening our understanding of the nature-health connection.
We understand that critical decisions involving how finite urban resources will be used; how land will be parceled and zoned require evidence. That’s what we have culled and collected here. Evidence. Facts and statistics mined from hundreds of studies by researchers world-over.
We invite you to dive in. Or skim.
First, you’ll find below some powerful statistics that should be at the fingertips of everyone interested in exploring the introduction of more meaningful greenspaces into urban setting. Past the fast facts, we invite you to discover more in-depth stories of the National Nature Sacred Awards program; stories that explore nature’s power to help individuals and communities heal in very specific, challenging circumstances and settings: natural disasters, hospital critical care units, military hospitals treating wounded warriors suffering from invisible wounds including PTSD.
Fast, Research-Proven Facts
Nature’s Impact on Health & Wellbeing
Having a window view of nature following surgery can hasten recovery.
Spending time in a garden has shown to improve mobility among nursing home residents with dementia.
“Green walks” have shown to help improve attention in children.
Researchers have observed significantly improved memory and attention in individuals experiencing nature as opposed to indoor or urban environments.
Scientists have observed a correlation between greener home surroundings and greater impulse control as well as self-discipline.
Garden walking and reflective journaling have shown to lower depression scores in older adults.
Exposure to nearby nature can effectively reduce stress.
Over the past two-plus decades, we have curated a growing list of what we consider to be much of the best research – academic studies and reviews as well as reports – on the benefits of nature to both individuals and communities. A slice of this work, Nature Sacred has supported. Below: quick access to a selection of research briefs authored by Nature Sacred-funded researchers. Far more is available through our Resource Center, which you can explore for academic studies, research news and more.
The Healing Power of Nature | How Green Space is Improving Health and Wellbeing in Cities
This report compiles some of the most recent evidence underscoring the health benefits of nature in a way that time-crunched urban planners, administrators and decision-makers, healthcare providers and public health officials, and community foundations can gain a quick briefing, absorbing key facts that help strengthen and inform decisions around the development of green infrastructure in cities and communities, and suggest ways to connect people with nearby nature.Download
Research on the Beneficial Aspects of the Experience of Nature in Cities
As part of the launch of the 2012 launch of the Nature Sacred Awards Program, this review was prepared to provide background and support for award applicants. The diverse collection of studies included in this review investigate human response to urban nature.Download
Reflect & Restore | Urban Green Space for Mental Wellness
In recent years scientists have revealed how brief encounters with nearby nature can also help to improve our short and longer-term mental capacities. Experiences of nature, even in cities, can promote mindfulness, reduce depression, and improve cognitive performance. This brief explores and summarizes the evidence.Download
Feeling Stressed? Take a Time Out in Nature
Green spaces, including those located within the most built-up areas of cities, provide restorative settings that offer people respite and recovery from daily and chronic stressors. This research synthesis provides an overview of key research findings on stress and the benefits of nature, paying special attention to “nearby nature” and urban environments.Download
The Benefits of Nearby Nature in Cities for Older Adults
This briefing is an overview of the health and wellness benefits of urban nearby nature; it gives special attention to the needs of people in their later years. Specific health issues of aging, such as mobility, isolation, assisted living, physical therapy, depression and Alzheimer’s, are touched on in this brief.Download
Nearby Nature for Human Health | Sites to Systems.
In this brief, the authors explore the opportunities to create networked green spaces in cities. The suggestions are based on evidence that shows that frequent, routine experiences of nearby nature offer respite, healing, and the potential for civic sacred connections.Download
The Sacred and Nearby in Nature and Cities.
This brief explores the idea of civic sacred, the everyday encounters with nature in cities that have the potential to promote inspiration, deeper thinking, mindfulness, and social and cultural connections. The paper is intended to help local planners and managers, civic leaders, and engaged citizens build support for parks, gardens, and open spaces in their communities.Download