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What the research says

Healthy Parks Healthy People

Nature helps us be active

Within parks, people tend to be more physically active - on tracks, playgrounds and at sports facilities. The many benefits of exercise and physical activity are now well documented. Regularly physical activity can help maintain healthy weight, reduce the risk of heart attack and more.

‘Green’ exercise – better for you than exercising in the gym

Numerous studies have found that exercising outside in a natural setting – ‘green’ exercise – is better than exercising indoors.Just five minutes of exercise in a park, working in a backyard garden, on a nature trail or other green space will benefit mental health.

Nature is great for kids

In natural environments, children use natural materials (flowers, sticks, stones etc) for long periods of imaginary play. Imaginary play has been shown to help children develop social and cognitive skills.

Nature helps with healthy ageing

As well as providing the opportunity for physical activity, contact with plants can be used therapeutically and helps people recover from the stress and strain of everyday living. Gardening has been found to strengthen muscles, improve mobility and flexibility, and can help reduce osteoporosis and even reduce the likelihood of dementia.

Nature helps our mental health

Contact with nature improves self-awareness, self esteem, self concept and positively effects mood. Contact with nature is effective in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety, depression, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, tension, headaches and even indigestion.

Nature helps us heal

Studies have demonstrated that hospital patients recover more quickly when they can see trees from their windows.

Natural spaces help build strong communities

Joining a Park friends group has a double benefit – it helps the health of the park through the work achieved and helps participants build ties to the people and places locally.

Read the research

An independent review of international research by academics at Deakin University found over two hundred studies that showed contact with nature makes people physically and mentally healthier.

Read the review - The Health Benefits of Contact with Nature  

 

 

Cover of draft Greater Alpine Plan Click to view the news RSS feed.

Vision for alpine national parks released

17 Jun 2014

The Greater Alpine National Parks Draft Management Plan is a strategic guide to the management of Alpine, Baw Baw, Errinundra, Mount Buffalo and Snowy River National Parks, Avon Wilderness Park, Tara Range Park, and Walhalla, Howqua Hills, Grant, Mount Wills and Mount Murphy Historic Areas. The draft plan gives you…

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National Tree Day plantings

27 Jul 2014 9:30am-1:30pm

Friends of Dandenong Valley Parklands invite you to join them in planting shrubs under the trees in Shepherds Bush next to Nortons Park. BBQ lunch provided. Families welcome.

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The First Shot Commemoration

5 Aug 2014 11:00am-5:00pm

Tuesday 5 August 2014 marks the 100 year anniversary of the first shot fired in the British Empire in World War I. This shot was fired from Coastal Artillery Gun Emplacement 6 at Fort Nepean on 5 August 1914 at 12:45pm, just 3 hours 45 minutes after war was declared…

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The Melbourne Mega Bat Count

6 Aug 2014

The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest flying-fox (also known as a fruit bat) species in Australia. Each month the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology conduct the monthly bat count at Yarra Bend Park at dusk on the Wednesday evening closest to the risen full moon. This data is critical…

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Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

6 Aug 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Enjoy the fresh air of this beautiful park and get an insight into the park’s fascinating history, flora and fauna. This free guided walk run by Friends of Tarra Bulga National Park will lead you across the famous Corrigan Suspension Bridge which stretches through the rainforest canopy, and on either…