Creating Projects for W&M Campus on Ecotherapy

My research for the Parks Research Lab has continued to excite me. Our projects vary each week, and these past two weeks have been particularly rewarding. These projects are for the public to enjoy, which is thrilling because I know that these projects will help William & Mary’s students.

My Projects

I finished the ecotherapy infographic I had been creating. The infographic has been tailored to W&M college students, and will be presented around campus for everyone to read.

My other project is updating the W&M greenspace map. The greenspace map will allow students to find the outdoor spaces on campus that best fit their needs. If a student wants to relax outdoors, then they can use this website to find the best places on campus to relax. The website is tailored to students, so students can pick an activity they wish to do outside and the website shows them which greenspaces are best for that activity.

These projects excite me because I know they will impact my campus. Ecotherapy describes how nature heals mental and physical ailments, though most students don’t spend enough time outside or don’t appreciate nature’s elements enough to let it heal them. I’m hoping these projects will enlighten my peers to the wonders of nature.

Looking Forward

As an Environmental Science & Policy major, I have wanted to conduct research that will help the Earth, and thereby help humans of low Socioeconomic status or of color who are dis-proportionally affected by anthropogenic climate change. This research does not relate directly to stopping climate change, which had originally disappointed me.

After conducting research and thinking over how ecotherapy has affected my life and made me appreciate nature, I think that my research can, at least minimally, make more people care about the environment. If students begin seeing the environment as important for human health, then perhaps they will be more inclined to protect it.

If you wish to learn more about ecotherapy, see Children & Nature, or read Your Brain on Nature by Eva Selhub, The Nature Fix by Florence Williams, or Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.