Learn how nature can be just what the doctor ordered
The Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission and the Prospect Heights Public Library are co-sponsoring an entertaining and inspirational program entitled "Making the Case for Nature Prescriptions: What's New and What's Next" by Dr. Robert Zarr from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 23.
Zarr, founder of Park Rx America, is the leading proponent of prescribing nature to patients as part of an overall approach to wellness and prevention. In this presentation, Zarr focuses on making the case for nature prescriptions, the numerous health benefits derived from nature, and how and why you should write your own prescriptions.
There is evidence that incorporating more nature into one's life improves physical and mental health in addition to enriching social well-being. Improvements include reduction of diabetes, hypertension, asthma, depression, stress, anxiety and rumination. Increased physical activity also improves mental health, including ADHD symptoms, focus, resiliency, self-concept and sense of well-being.
Humans have evolved over millions of years -- mostly outdoors. It has only been the last few decades where we have seen a major transition, where we now spend most of our time inside. Since we evolved outdoors, nature is not foreign to us, but rather part of our very being.
Writing a nature prescription isn't about the health care professional finding that magical and perfect place for patients to spend their time. In contrast to writing a medication prescription, a nature prescription is for the most part "written" by the patient.
Zarr is a physician researcher and public health pediatrician based at Unity Health Care, Inc., in Washington, D.C. He has provided medical attention to BIPOC and immigrant populations for more than 20 years. He is also the founder of Park Rx America and a certified nature and forest therapy guide. You will often find him walking or hiking on nearby trails and spending time near his neighborhood trees.
The program is free and available either in-person or through Zoom, but please register by calling (847) 259-3500 ext. 35, visiting www.phpl.info or stopping at the library's information desk. After registration, the library will send you a link to the event. The program will also be recorded and encore presentations will be shown at date and times to be announced.
Nature Speaks is a partnership between Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission and the Prospect Heights Public Library.
Additional information about the Natural Resources Commission's numerous native prairie restorations and other activities can be found at www.phnrc.com. One can also learn more about our area's natural resources, native prairies, volunteer activity days, and other conservation information there as well.