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What you can do

How do these connect?

Connecting to nature and spending time outdoors can benefit personal health and the community in many ways. A study by the University of Illinois found that residents that have common areas filled with trees and other greenery felt they knew their neighbors better and were safer than residents in areas without green space.

Sustainability Story

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What can you do?

Learn more here about the many social benefits that green space provides to a community, including stress reduction, reduction in crime, and creating better learning atmospheres.

The University of Washington explains the mental health benefits that green spaces can provide to children and adults, such as reducing the effects of ADHD and dementia.

Penn State emphasizes the ecological benefits of having an interconnected park system, including increases to biodiversity and reducing costs for stormwater management.

Madison Area Community Land Trust works with community members to create affordable homes and protect green spaces.

In this 16 minute Ted Talk Emma Marris explains the importance of changing our defition of nature to one that emphasizes the importance of urban biodiversity.

Ryan Gravel (11 minutes), Dan Barash (6 minutes), and Robert Hammond (6 minutes) each create green places in unlikely places in the heart of urban cities, showing us what is possible when you believe in your cause.

This 18 minute video by Majora Carter brings forward the issue of environmental justice and how poor communities and communities of color often suffer the most from land policy decisions and lack of green space.

Look at City of Madison's park calendar to find out if there are any events happening at a park near you! Just want to relax by yourself or with your family, then find a park near you and spend time there. A great way to increase outdoor recreation is by signing up for an adult or children's sports league to stay active all season long! If you have a dog you can bring them to these on-leash and off-leash parks.

Each June the U.S. Green Building Council hosts a 30x30 Nature Challenge where you can pledge to spend 30 minutes outside each day. We challenge you to carry this on outside of June! Some activities you can do outside are having picnics, read under a tree, plan a scavenger hunt, fly a kite, start a small garden, go for a bike ride, or even a quick walk!

Do you feel like your community doesn't have enough parks or green space? Contact your local representative to see what they are doing or can do to improve this. Unsure of how to contact your representatives? Visit the question "Does the government hear your voice?" to find out the best ways to make your voice heard.

Community Goundworks focuses on food systems in an urban environment, connecting people to nature.

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