Does the thought of a quiet forest, gentle ripples on a lake or the crackling of a campfire send you to your happy place? If so, you are not alone. These places of peace and natural beauty are often owned and operated, but your local park and recreation agency. Parks and other outdoor areas provide a connection to nature proven to benefit visitors both physically and mentally. 

Regardless of age, over half of all Americans say they visit local parks, picnic areas or lakes and beaches to experience the health benefits of nature. So, whether your happy place is at the dog park with your best friend, smelling the roses at the nearby botanical garden or reading a good book under the shade of a tree in the park, get outside and reap the health benefits of your natural surroundings!

Key Findings

  • Fifty-five percent of Americans visit their local parks or picnic areas to experience the health benefits of nature
  • Fifty-six percent of Americans head to a waterbody (e.g., lake, river, ocean) to experience the health benefits of nature
  • Vast majorities of millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers turn to nature for its health benefits (89 percent, 82 percent and 77 percent, respectively).
  • Parents are more likely than non-parents to visit waterbodies, trails, campgrounds and sports fields.


Park Pulse Infographic: Health Benefits of Natural Areas

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