Most of us live in cities now. What does that mean for how we access, appreciate, and create meaningful natural experiences? Do we have to leave town to have a quality experience with nature? Is there anything we can do to preserve healthy natural areas as cities grow?
Here are few thoughtful reads for a warm summer evening that will not necessarily answer all those questions, but will hopefully provide fresh perspectives on a positive way forward:
From an amateur beekeeper on the rooftops of Chicago, Nature Leaving Me Buzzed tells us a lot about beekeeping, and also leaves us with some interesting reflections about our relationship with bees and the rest of the natural world.
Back on the ground, there is a surprisingly large amount of land in big cities that is vacant. Nothing going on. In TNOC Encore: Vacant Land in Cities Could Provide Important Social and Ecological Benefits we learn about the potential for transforming vacant lots into community gardens, pocket parks, mini-greenbelts, and more. At a time when many people are rightly worried about losing natural areas in cities, it’s also a good idea to look at reclaiming unused, vacant land to benefit urban citizens and increase the biodiversity and health of our city environments.
Finally, from Evidence of Nature Benefits for Mental Wellness #3 we are reminded of the many ways nature is important to our mental well being – and are pointed to a growing body of research supporting those benefits as being real, and quantifiable. It’s not just all that active stuff that we need – everyone needs exercise – but we can’t overlook the importance of just being there.
Go get out in it. – Mark