You might’ve noticed that you feel calmer, even happier, when you’re walking through a lush park or forest. This is no coincidence — spending time in nature has been linked to multiple mental health benefits, including stress relief and a better sense of well-being. Stanford scientists even believe a 90 minute walk in the woods can lead to a lower risk of depression.
Now, a new study suggests that “greening” abandoned lots in urban areas could improve the mental health of city dwellers.
The research, recently published in JAMA Open Network, was conducted in a cluster of Philadelphia communities, all located near a vacant lot. At the start of the study, these lots were littered with trash and overgrown grass. But not all of them would stay that way.