As we enjoy the signs of spring, so do our natural surroundings. From the lush, vibrant green leaves on the trees to the sounds of birds and wildlife echoing through the forest, these experiences offer glimpses of a new growing season and remind us of the vital role healthy forests play in our daily lives.
While it has been well documented that new, thriving forests offer one of the most important, sustainable, nature-based solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, less is often written about the incredible health and wellness benefits our natural landscapes provide. Here are three benefits to keep top of mind:
1. From declining stress to improved rehabilitation, there is growing evidence that human mental and physical well-being is closely associated with the health of our forest ecosystems.
2. Trees help to reduce smog and pollution in our neighbourhoods by filtering out many airborne pollutants that can negatively impact our health.
3. Forests are an integral part of the water cycle, helping to maintain the quality of groundwater.
The next time you enjoy a leisurely stroll through your neighbourhood park or indulge in an extra-long hike
through your favourite forest, please take a moment to appreciate your natural surroundings. At Forests Ontario, our vision for change includes investing in greener communities, which is an investment in our own health. We hope you will join us in taking collective action to grow a healthy tomorrow for our families, our communities, and our planet for generations to come.
Elizabeth Celanowicz is the Chief Operating Officer of Forests Ontario, the province’s leading charity dedicated to the creation, preservation and maintenance of forests and grasslands. Find out more at www.forestsontario.ca.