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Why We Need Urban Green Spaces

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

West Central Park is completely supported and maintained by community volunteers. Here's a great explanation of why we do it, and how important urban green spaces can be, even in a place like Olympia which is surrounded by natural beauty.

"When it comes to the range of social benefits that we can receive from urban green spaces—common areas where people can recreate, volunteer, and connect with others in their city—our understanding continues to unfold. While social isolation can be considered a growing epidemic in the United States, social disconnection may be a root cause of depression and diminished quality of life.

An important antidote to this lack of connection may lie in where we choose to spend time outside of home, school, or work – specifically, in green spaces such as parks, gardens, and trails. An increasing body of evidence shows that the time people spend in urban green spaces promotes human connection, thereby enriching how we perceive the value of these spaces and each other. A new article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the first-known synthesis of scientific knowledge on the impacts of urban green space on social cohesion and health, provides a ”big picture” perspective on the social benefits that we may receive from urban green spaces.

“Urban green spaces may provide key social benefits, including promoting a sense of community, belonging, social engagement, empowerment, and social support,” said lead author Dr. Viniece Jennings, a researcher focused on the influence of urban green spaces on various aspects of human health and well-being. “However, certain factors, such as the quality of a given green space, the type of social engagement programs offered in that space, and surrounding social conditions, may influence those outcomes in both positive and negative ways.”

Full article here


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