Green Spaces Benefit Lifestyles (1-24-11)
Numerous clinical studies provide evidence that green spaces created by lawns and landscaping attribute to healthy living in various ways. Below are some of the important findings copied from www.projectevergreen.com.
Privacy and tranquility:
Well-placed plantings offer privacy and tranquility by screening out busy street noises and reducing glare from headlights.
Lower crime and enhanced self esteem:
Studies over a 30-year period in communities, neighborhoods, housing projects and prisons show that when landscaping projects are promoted there is a definite increase in self esteem and a decrease in vandalism.
A study published in Environment and Behavior (Vol 35:311.330) indicates that, “… by boosting children’s attentional resources, green spaces may enable them to think more clearly and cope more effectively with life’s stress.”
Green space is beneficial to children:
Studying the effects of green space, a Cornell University researcher indicated that, “children who had the greatest gains in terms of ‘greenness’ between their old and new homes showed the greatest improvements in functioning.”
Girls & greenery:
A University of Illinois study found that girls exposed to green settings are better able to handle peer pressure, sexual pressure and other challenging situations as well as perform better in school.
There is growing evidence that horticulture is important on a human level. Plants lower blood pressure, reduce muscle tension related to stress, improve attention and reduce feelings of fear and anger or aggression.
Health benefits in children:
Researchers found that Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) symptoms in children are relieved after contact with nature. Greenery in a child’s everyday environment—even views of green through a window—reduces ADD symptoms.
Better atmosphere for learning:
To test attentiveness, a university class rotated between two classrooms. One contained plants and foliage and one did not. Results at the end of the academic year showed inattentiveness was reduced by 70 percent in the room containing plants plus indications of better exam performance.
Good landscaping increases community appeal:
Parks and street trees have been found to be second only to education in residents’ perceived value of municipal services offered. Psychologist Rachel Kaplan found trees, well-landscaped grounds and places for taking walks to be among the most important factors considered when individuals chose a place to live.
Green spaces create a better, safer environment:
Studies conducted by the Human Environment Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign indicate that “Green spaces are gathering places that create close-knit communities and improve well-being—and in doing so, they increase safety.”
Published January 24, 2011
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org