One of the green places I love to go to near my condo in Seattle is Volunteer Park. Some believe it is the crown jewel of Seattle’s parks.
In 1903, the nation’s premier landscape architects, the Olmsted Brothers, came to the Pacific Northwest from their offices in Brookline, Massachusetts to plan parks and playgrounds for Seattle and Portland. Volunteer Park is just one of the many projects the Olmsted brothers designed. Their father, the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park in New York City. He believed that beautiful green spaces should exist for all people to enjoy. He stated “it is beyond all question that the influence of the park is exceedingly favorable to moral as well as physical health, and that it exerts a highly civilizing effect upon the population of the city” on creating urban parks.
Even short doses of nature can calm people down and sharpen their performance. Dutch researchers found a lower incidence of 15 different diseases including diabetes, heart disease and even depression in those who lived within a half mile of green space. From This is Your Brain on Nature
Unfortunately, we are in a time when we are becoming ever more disconnected from nature. One survey found only 10 % of American teens spend time outside every day! Disconnect and go outside into your backyard or a nearby park or green space.