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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Solutions For Green We also publish California Green Solutions and a series of blogs about healthy living solutions.

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Gardening and Landscaping Improve Health

  • Gardening is excellent physical exercise. Routine gardening tasks such as shoveling, rototilling, and even mowing grass with a push-type, reel lawn mower can measure up to the exertion rates of jogging, bicycling, or aerobics. Studies have shown that one hour of weeding burns 300 calories - the same as walking or bicycling at a moderate pace.

  • Gardens produce healthy food. Fresh food from the garden can have up to three times as many vitamins and minerals as canned or frozen food. Community garden plots have become a valuable means of providing food for the homeless.

  • Horticulture is therapeutic. Horticultural therapy is a treatment for a variety of diagnoses. Working with and around plants improves quality of life through psychological and physical changes.

  • Nurturing a plant into maturity from seed is rewarding and builds self-confidence. Various horticulture-related tasks such as carrying plants, planting trees, or arranging flowers are used to improve coordination and motor control of injured or disabled individuals.

  • Landscapes heal. Restorative gardens offer an environment for people who are sick, injured, and under stress to recover and regain confidence in themselves. Such landscapes are also currently used by hospices in treatment of Alzheimer and AIDS patients. Roger Ulrich showed through a study of hospital patients that those whose rooms overlooked vegetation recovered faster and required less pain medication than did patients without a view of nature.

Courtesy of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University.

For more articles about URBAN NATURE

Urban Agriculture for Outdoor Adventure
Earth's Most Successful Life Form
Kudzu Grows a Foot per Day
Meow How? Should I keep my cat indoors?
Habitat on Your Balcony and Garden Patio
Keeping ants in nature where they belong