Monday, February 16, 2009

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 02/16/2009

My attention was recently directed to an article in Newsweek called “In Our Nature” that extols the psychological importance of being in nature… me that’s a no-brainer, but now scientists have made headway at proving the theory.  Hooray!  

The nitty-gritty of the first study addressed the value of office workers looking at a real scene of nature as opposed to that on an HDTV mounted on the wall or to no view at all.  Then the office dwellers in the study were subjected to stress (enough to get their heart rates up).  The results showed that only the real view of nature had the “calming” effect that the authors of the study were looking for.

The second study proposed that interacting with nature allows the mind to shift to a more relaxed and passive mode giving the problem solving, focused-attention mind time to become restored.  In essence, the study showed that getting out and interacting with nature provided the cognitive, problem solving mind to become replenished.  The authors of the story go on to say, “…those who had been on the nature walk had significantly better focus and attention than those who had been required to negotiate the city streets.”

A strong concern of the Liberty Wildlife educational initiative is the notion that the younger generations are losing their awareness of nature and the natural world except for their virtual experiences.  (The authors of the study refer to “generational amnesia about the natural world”.)  Many children that we deal with can tell you more about the tropical rainforests (as seen on TV) than about the wildlife in their own backyards. 

Listen up folks, we need to get them outside (You go with them!), introduce them to their wildlife neighbors, and release them from unreal fears of what things they might find in the yard, park, or desert. It is all pretty darned cool! And, as an extra bonus, they might be more calm (with out benefit of drugs) and they might even be more effective at doing their homework.

So, take a hike!

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