Parks and urban green spaces impact people’s health by providing them with a free and convenient recreational service. There is a positive correlation between the presence of a park in a neighborhood and the level of physical activity of the residents; people are much more likely to exercise when there is a no-cost, aesthetically pleasing area or facility for them to use. As a result, residents of neighborhoods with beautiful parks are generally much healthier; their increase in exercise makes them less susceptible to physical ailments and more resilient against minor illnesses. The presence of parks in neighborhoods encourages residents to exercise, thus improving their physical state and enabling them to more fully enjoy their lives.
Spending time in nature gives people an increased feeling of vitality, boosting their energy levels and making them feel more animated. Their performance levels are, in turn, increased by this improved state of mind. Natural environments induce a positive outlook on life, making people feel more alive and active.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to augment these healthy spaces with plants that promote play value and wellness? From pleasing scents, to attracting songbirds and butterflies, to providing pinecones to play with, plants can increase the usability of a place simply through their characteristics. Ever see children toss maple seed “keys” and watch them fly? Let the gentle sound of rustling leaves calm your nerves after a stressful day? Gotten lost in thought or imagination while watching a squirrel perform a seemingly daring ballet high overhead? These and many other characteristics of natural plants, trees, shrubs, grasses and flora can make a place more pleasing, increase the time people want to spend there, and promote healthful benefits for all.
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