I'm sitting here pouting because it's my day off and I'm stuck inside. So naturally, I'm trying to catch up on my reading and I stumble over an article that gives me yet another reason to pout.

Seriously, the studies which support "green" surroundings are getting completely out of hand. This one, just the latest assault on the concrete jungle, documents the benefits to mental health--particularly self esteem--of just five minutes in the great green outdoors. This precise quantification of just how powerful access to nature is should be a wake up call to anybody involved in urban planning, education or human health.

The research has been pointing this way for awhile, now. Below I've listed some specific examples--some spend more time on the science, others on the ease of introducing the concept at a local level. I've ended with the most ambitious research, that quantifies the public dollars that could be saved by implementing green design on a community scale.

Architecture -- how our love of the outdoors is innate and necessary to our own well-being, and how the field of architecture is changing to meet that need.

Alzheimer's -- this story doesn't back up the statement with documented science, but probably fits because of the slew of other research with similar claims.

Duke -- what they're up to at Duke University Hospital.

Crime -- greenery reduces violence in the inner city.

ADHD -- also from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this research maps out the benefits to those suffering from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. UIUC has similar research on minority female student achievement--you can access it on the left-hand side of the page the link takes you to. Take note, teachers and parents!

Green Schools and Student Achievement -- Want to improve the health and achievement of students and save tons of money doing it? Check out this research.

I am now waiting for a break in the rain--I'm supposed to be cleaning out a particular downspout--but I'm particularly thankful that my computer is positioned so that I have a great view out windows--and the birds and squirrels to keep that view stimulating beyond the plants alone.

But I'm still waiting for my chance to get out to play in the mud.

2010 Woodland Steward Series

Establishing A New Flow to Go With