By: Megan Ray Nichols
Spring has finally sprung. The ravages of winter have taken its toll on everyone. Have your thoughts turned to frolicking in the park and communing with nature? Whether you live in the city or the outer suburbs, it feels good to experience Mother Nature’s greenery whenever possible, plus it’s good for you.
Trees, grass and plants are nice to look at and take pictures of — and they improve your health by filtering dust and pollutants from the air. Your mental state also benefits from the sight and smells of the great outdoors. You feel yourself relax while you’re breathing in the fresh air and looking at the grass and trees.
These visions are a welcome distraction from your everyday hectic life.
What a Green Environment Does for You
You may remember from high school science class that plants produce oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. They absorb the sun’s energy and turn it into oxygen for humans and animals, as well as food for themselves. Without these basic life-giving elements, no one would be able to breathe or live.
Having green spaces enhances our urban settings by providing areas for relaxation, exercise and visual stimulation. People benefit physically and mentally from being outside and enjoying the sun, air, trees and plants.
When you have physical or visual access to the greenery of the outside world, your stress levels are reduced. You are also able to concentrate better. This is why people add the homey touch of plants to their workplace. It’s good to see the life-affirming activities of plants when you’re spending eight hours or more indoors on a daily basis.
Being in contact with the elements of nature like animals, plants and landscapes can open you to a wide array of medical benefits. The tranquility of the wilderness and nature can reduce your anxiety and depression, lower your blood pressure and speed up your recovery from surgery or a heart attack.
Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism or other disabilities benefit from gardening and coming in contact with various aspects of grass, trees and flowers.
Also, participating in an outdoor activity in a park or athletic field can burn calories and increase your chances of shedding those unwanted pounds. You can fight this nation’s obesity problem with regular physical workouts associated with sports, walking or hiking trails.
- Improve your concentration
- Helps you remember more
- Reduce stress
- Increase your happiness level
- Provide recreational areas
- Supply oxygen as a key tool for survival
- Foster feelings of community and pride
How to Create Your Own Patch of Green
Outside of your backyard or office plants, creating green spaces on a large scale is an ongoing process in urban and suburban areas.
Places like parks, botanical gardens, playgrounds, sidewalks and atriums provide green spaces of grass, shrubbery, flowers and trees to beautify cities, create spaces to combat the heat island effect and support public health.
Due to adverse natural or human-made occurrences, the lush landscapes around us can become less than attractive and somewhat unsafe. When this happens, you can help restore the natural beauty of a hillside, residential or commercial lawn, athletic field, roadside or any other place that you desire. If it’s a large-scale community project, you might want to consider processes and tools to make the job easier or more successful.
Seeding by hand can take a lot of work, and if you don’t water it correctly, the results can be lackluster. This can lead to frustrated homeowners or low quality park fields. Instead of reseeding your lawn the traditional way, consider hydroseeing or hydromulching to quickly and evenly spray a slurry of fertilizer and seeds. Yet, how do you know which is right for you?
Restoration efforts that include a mixture of water, grass or ground cover seeds, fertilizer and any other additives to the patch of land that needs to be fixed is a process known as hydroseeding. To save labor costs and your back, as well as the backs of volunteers or workers, using high-quality hydroseeding equipment to evenly spray the mixture and mulch, also known as slurry, will result in faster germination of the seeds.
If your goal is to control soil erosion, applying the proper amount of mulch to the affected area is crucial. A hydromulching machine can use different kinds of mulch to stabilize a hillside slope, cover a landfill or keep land from eroding. Depending on your needs, you’ll have to decide if you require a machine that does both mixing and spraying or a machine that can mix thicker slurries and cover a larger area. With whichever one you choose, your work time will be dramatically reduced.
Green spaces in our cities have vastly contributed to the well-being of our society. Being able to sit on a park bench in a green space can have a calming effect on your frazzled nerves. When you have access to nature’s green pastures, it can literally save your life and sanity — which is why it’s important to preserve these larger spaces in communities across the country.
Make Time to Experience Nature
Just think how good you feel when you step outside for your lunch break during your workday. Seeing the trees, grass and sun makes you want to breathe a sigh of relief, which is your body’s small way of reducing some of the stress that you’ve been carrying around.
Can you remember the last time that you were in a park relaxing or taking part in a sport? If not, maybe it’s time to relive that experience.
About the Author:
Megan Nichols is the editor of Schooled by Science. She enjoys writing about the latest innovations in technology and science.