The Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America, has teamed with allies from across conservation and health sectors to announce today an initiative to combat nature deficit disorder, a national health crisis with substantial economic and social implications.
“We, as a species, are now far more sedentary and disconnected from the land than our forerunners, and we are paying the price,” said Rand Wentworth, the Alliance’s president.
This cooperative initiative is anchored by the Wingspread Declaration, a document signed by 30 of America’s leading health officials, academics and nature-focused nonprofits. The Declaration calls for concerted action from health, environmental, academic, governmental and corporate actors to cooperatively reconnect people with nature and secure new commitments to protecting nature.
“If nature contact were a medication, we would be prescribing it to everybody,” said Howard Frumkin, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, and one of the signatories to the Declaration. “It is safe, it is effective in preventing and treating a wide range of diseases and improving well-being, and, compared to many medications, it costs less, has fewer side effects and doesn’t need to be administered by a specialist. Investment in natural settings for healing, recreation and routine activities is investment in health – and it’s an investment that yields a very high return.”
This new initiative comes at a time when more than one-third of U.S.…