Nurture Your Nature: Is a Tree Good For Your Health?


Dear Laura,

I was inspired by your recent post and the THIRST project. It is ironic that this project developed because of the extreme drought and now it is extreme flooding…..climate change?

At any rate, paying closer attention to nature and our human impact is undeniable.  I did a little digging about trees and our health.   We both know that walking in nature makes us more sane and that trees are a big part of that experience.  In fact, it inspires much of our artwork individually and collaboratively.

Tina’s new work inspired by Gary Snyder’s poems “There is no nature….we are nature”.

Our new project “The Collective” is a good example of this common thread weaving through our work collaboratively.

Here is a link to a study about the Health Benefits of Trees published by the Atlantic but originally in the scientific journal Elsevier researched by Dr. David J. Nowak.  The scientific paper is cited in the Atlantic article if you are interested in reading the data.

“Trees prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in 2010 alone. That was related to 17 tonnes of air pollution removed by trees and forests, which physically intercept particulate matter and absorb gasses through their leaves.”

While you and I have been interpreting this information through the experience as an artist, it is interesting how scientists are coming to the same conclusions as they wrap numbers and data around it.  Even more of a reason to be a steward of our environment.

Here is an article about how short walks in nature prevent depression.  While you are at it, read Henri David Thoreau’s essay on walking in the woods, published by The Atlantic in 1862.  I am always amazed at his ability to sit patiently and listen to nature for hours.  He notes how he would sit for two hours in the morning at the front step of his cabin.  Can you imagine that?

I am still working on my patience with walking and sitting.  I don’t quite feel that I have that luxury of time give my life comittments, however I hope I can change my thinking on it.  Everyone has time, it’s just what you decide to be a priority, right?

Tina's Weekly Drawing Challenge  (see my Instagram account for weekly updates)
Tina’s Weekly Drawing Challenge (see my Instagram account for weekly updates)

It is my goal this summer to get into a walking routine on a daily basis.  I’ll be taking special note of the trees now that I know they are not only good for studio inspiration but good for my health!


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