Celebrate Summer’s Therapeutic Benefits in Nature

University of Washington’s Botanic Gardens provides an oasis in the heart of the city

Given our fair city’s mercurial moods when it comes to weather, we all start celebrating around this time of year. It might take a while for Seattle’s summer to truly set in, but we all perk up once the days become warm and balmy. But why exactly does spending time outside in summer feel so good? For one thing, researchers all over the world have reported that we feel calmer and more relaxed when we’re surrounded by nature.

Beyond catching much-needed rays, it is well established that spending time in nature is both de-stressing and inspires creativity. So much so, in fact, that the Japanese make time in their lives for a practice they call ‘forest bathing’. Qing Li, the president of the Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, has found that research participants’ feelings of stress, anxiety or anger decreased, and their perceptions of energy or vigor improved with exposure to nature. Researchers at Stanford University found that volunteers who walked briefly through a lush, green portion of the Stanford campus were more attentive and happier afterward than volunteers who strolled for the same amount of time near heavy traffic.

A true jewel in Seattle’s natural wonders crown, the University of Washington’s Botanic Gardens make communing with nature a family adventure with classes and camps throughout the summer. Located on the shores of Lake Washington in the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum, the UW Botanic Gardens is an international hub for plant science and ecosystem research, teaching, and stewardship. The Arboretum includes a vibrant collection of more than 20,000 living plants from around the world and offers opportunities to explore woods, wetlands, and exceptional views. In the summer months, they open their doors to adults and kids who are inspired by spending time in nature.

Dr. Kathleen Wolf is Projects Director and Principal Investigator for Human Dimensions of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. She believes that “Many people who live in cities and towns have come to realize the many benefits and satisfactions that trees provide.”

“The experience of nature helps reduce stress and anxiety, improves medical recovery and convalescence, contributes to greater job satisfaction and productivity, and enhances quality of life,” says Dr. Wolf.

The Botanic Gardens offer a number of low-cost family nature classes covering both flora and fauna (for ages 2 and up), as well as forest therapy classes and botanical illustration. For the older kids this summer, there are bountiful camp options like Art in the Park, Arboretum Detectives, Wetland Rangers, and Woodland Wonders. These programs are guaranteed to produce wonderful summer memories, as well as fostering a true appreciation of both plant and animal life in nature.

If you prefer the nature in your own backyard, then gardening classes will help you recreate the wonders of the Botanic Gardens at home.

Click to register For Classes from the UW Botanic Gardens

Click to explore Kids’ Summer Camps from the UW Botanic Gardens




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

[flipp]

More in Marketplace

David Good, owner of The Green Door in Seattle. Budtenders at the store will teach you about cannabis and help you find a product that suits your needs.
‘Budding’ chemists: learning the science behind a familiar plant

You probably know THC and CBD, but this Seattle budtender suggests digging deeper

Cool ice cream, hot Thai or breezy cocktails… How does your summer taste?

Show Grand Ridge Plaza what you’re eating this summer for a chance to win awesome prizes!

What makes this cannabis store ‘Seattle’s favorite?’

Long-standing Rainier Street shop has changed with the times, and kept spirits high

2 ‘budding’ products to tackle stressful times

Neighborhood retailer builds relationships with customers to help meet their needs

Take a trip to SnoValley — in person or online — for one-of-a-kind creations

Snoqualmie’s hub of art and creativity moves online

Reprioritizing wellness? Explore the options here!

Issaquah’s one-stop-shop for fitness, health and full-body therapy

Join the Rescue Squad! Seattle Humane hosts first-ever Day of Giving

Show your love for local animals with community-driven fundraiser July 17

Best Pick Reports features a curated list of professionals, evaluated based on thousands of Seattle-area customer interviews.
For a successful home project, trust a professional guaranteed by Best Pick Reports

Free guide gives Seattle area homeowners a wealth of resources, and peace of mind

United Way seeks support for King County residents during COVID-19

Because of the current pandemic and economic fallout, the needs of the… Continue reading

Zsofia Pasztor, founder of Woodinville-based non-profit Farmer Frog, is a certified horticulturist, arborist and landscape designer who helps build community and family gardens, starting from a foundation of Cedar Grove soil and compost.
Family gardening can be fun and fruitful!

Cedar Grove soils can help you get the most out of your home planting season

Dining in: savor the flavors of Downtown Issaquah!

Take advantage of the range of local restaurants offering takeout and delivery options

While people may be staying closer to home right now, nutritious and delicious meals are as close as Gourmet Meals to Go, delivered right to your door.
5 simple steps gets custom, restaurant-quality cuisine to your door!

We might not be dining out much right now, but that doesn’t… Continue reading