Photo by Steven Montgomery
I’m currently listening to a fascinating audio book called, “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative,” by Florence Williams. This book discusses the science behind why it is good for people of all ages to get out into nature. I’m a native New Yorker who grew up and still lives in the borough of Queens. You may wonder if it is difficult to get my own “Nature Fix” due to my place of residence. Well, I’m glad to report that even us city folk can find ways to benefit from being in a natural setting.
One Earth Conservation’s Nurture Nature Program is built around some of the concepts introduced in Williams’ book. Just a couple of weeks ago, we led what we call a “Wild Walk” in Manhattan’s Central Park, of all places. And what a wonder it was!! Our group walked past The Pond at the southeastern end of the park and immediately spotted a beautiful and regal white egret calmly surveying the passing crowds while mallard ducks and Canada geese competed vigorously to catch pieces of bread tossed into the water by children and their parents.
Crossing over a stone bridge, we next came to the Hallett Nature Sanctuary (yes, Central Park has a 4-acre nature sanctuary within its borders, which I never knew existed!) where we were delighted to spot a large array of native birds, such as migrating warblers of various types, cardinals, blue jays, grackles, and woodpeckers. We also took the time to admire the diverse greenery and flowers we passed along our route.
During the walk, LoraKim led us through various activities that opened our minds and hearts to the natural world found in the core of one of the world’s largest cities. She explained how being in that place was of benefit to us as individuals, as well as to the greater ecological whole.
When our Wild Walk ended, I left Central Park even more inspired than when I entered it and made a silent vow to get myself out into local green spaces as often as I am able. I highly recommend you give it a try, whether you dwell in a city or not.