I was reading recently about research done at the University of Exeter in England on the links between people’s health and bird watching in the natural world.Dr. Daniel Cox concluded that “experiences of nature provide many mental-health benefits, particularly for people living in urban areas.” Abundance of birds was one of the important characteristics that was controlled for.
Naturalists in the state of Victoria in Australia recognized this years ago and the concept gained traction quickly in the spring of 2010 at a “Healthy Parks Healthy People” congress. Their movement is now worldwide.
From the U.S. National Parks Service to Finland and from South Korea to Scotland, the take-up has been impressive. Ontario Parks started promoting Healthy Parks Healthy People in 2015.
Sarah McMichael, a coordinator with Ontario Parks, said that Healthy Parks Healthy People continues to showcase the important role that healthy green space plays in human health across the province: “We promote time in the outdoors as a means to a healthier lifestyle.”
“Ontario parks are the place for you to get outside and get your dose of nature!” she explained. “In honour of HPHP, we are opening our doors and offering free day-use at all provincial parks on Friday, July 20. It’s a great opportunity to bring your friends and family out to a provincial park and enjoy one of the many outdoor activities at Ontario Parks, whether it’s hiking, cycling, swimming, paddling, or birding.”
Dozens of parks have planned special programming for July 20. It is also just a good opportunity to explore a new park or a local provincial park on your own. Last week by the Gideon Dr. entrance to Komoka Provincial Park I did well with grassland species including grasshopper sparrow and Eastern meadowlark.
Whether you visit a provincial park, a conservation area, or a municipal Environmentally Significant Area, the point is to enjoy all of the benefits of the world outdoors [ . . . ]
Continue at LONDON FREE PRESS: The World Outdoors: Boost your Vitamin N intake with nature activites | The London Free Press