About the Forest

Benefits

Research has shown that kids who spend time outdoors:

  • Demonstrate more creative/imaginative play
  • Are generally healthier
  • Have lower stress levels
  • Have greater respect for themselves and others
  • Express a greater appreciation for the environment

See how kids that spend more time in nature are healthier in this infographic: http://neefusa.org/pdf/NEEF-CNI-Infographic.pdf

In addition to the emotional and psychological benefits of nature, there are also many tangible benefits:

  • Shade
  • Clean water
  • Timber products
  • Plant extracts used in medicine
  • The production of oxygen and clean air

If you live in a big city and are worried that you don’t have immediate access to nature, you can rest assured that the trees lining your street are working extra hard to make the world around you a better place. Aside from offering a cool escape on a sunny day, trees are vital to humans. Through photosynthesis, trees produce oxygen (O2), which is necessary for our survival. When we breathe in, we take in oxygen, and we release carbon dioxide (CO2). Trees do the opposite, processing CO2 into food for trees grown and expelling oxygen–thereby creating a net cooling effect. In fact, 1 tree absorbs as much as 48 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year, and the cooling effect of a single healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. If you want to figure out the benefits of trees in your neighborhood, city or even state, visit www.itreetools.org, where you can find many reasons that urban trees are important to you and your community. Also check out this calculator: www.treebenefits.com/calculator/.

Additionally, the Children in Nature Network, whose motto is “Together we can create a world where every child can play, learn and grow in nature.” offers resources and studies, all in an effort to help children reconnect with nature. To find out more go to http://www.childrenandnature.org/