Time in Nature: More Than a Breath of Fresh Air

Author: Whidbey Camano Land Trust | 12/19/19
       

Bounty Loop trail

Charlotte Ginn, left, loves spending time in nature but has trouble finding trails that accommodate the walker she uses to get around. She found such a place at the Whidbey Camano Land Trust’s Trillium Community Forest, where she walked the ADA-accessible Bounty Loop Trail with Land Trust board member Janet Hall, right.

Reduced Stress, Better Concentration Among Benefits of Outdoors

Simon Frazer enjoys everything about spending time in nature. “I love the forest. The ambience. The smells,” he said.

Frazer, a Langley resident, hits the trails once a week with his hiking group, known as the Sons of the Beach. He and his fellow club members, who range in age from 58 to 85, will tell you that what they get from being out in nature goes well beyond physical exercise.

Paul Goldfinger Sons of the Beach

Paul Goldfinger leads the Sons of the Beach on a hike of Trillium Community Forest in October. “It makes me feel fit and fulfilled,” Goldfinger said of the weekly outdoor outings with his Whidbey Island hiking group.

“It makes me feel fit and fulfilled,” said Paul Goldfinger, who started the hiking group in 2008. “I can remember one time I was hiking at the tail end of the group with another hiker. We weren’t even talking. We were just so happy to be out in nature on a beautiful day.”

Numerous studies reveal many health benefits from spending time in nature, ranging from reduced stress to better concentration to improved short-term memory. Some doctors advise patients to spend more time outside in natural settings.

“I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors, just unplugging from the 21st century as much as I can,” said Mark McCutcheon, a retired National Park Service ranger. “It’s just peace of mind. Being able to slow down and think things out and simplify.”

Nature’s positive impacts on humans add another level of importance to saving natural lands and waters. We need these places to inspire us, reduce stress, and sharpen our focus. Your support of the Land Trust allows us to continue to protect and care for natural areas and open spaces that provide wildlife habitat, local food, scenic vistas and clean water and air. It also allows us to provide opportunities for people to connect with nature, including trails, beach access, kayak launching, fishing, and bird watching.

“I really appreciate the Land Trust. You don’t know how much you mean to people like me.” – Charlotte Ginn

Few understand this better than Charlotte Ginn. She spent most of her life enjoying the outdoors in Northern California until a work accident left her bound to a wheelchair. Through intensive rehabilitation over the years, she was able to get back on her feet and move around again with the help of a walker.

Ginn moved to Whidbey Island last year. Her first hiking experience since her accident took place at our Trillium Community Forest on a trail built to accommodate people with mobility impairments. She went on the Bounty Loop trail for a second time with Janet Hall, one of our board members, to learn about the plants and wildlife.

Ginn soaked in the experience of being out in nature on a beautiful July morning. “I really appreciate the Land Trust,” she said. “You don’t know how much you mean to people like me.”

Thanks to you, the Land Trust is working on several exciting projects that will connect more people to beaches, farms, and forests in the near future!

Sons of the Beach

Members of the Sons of the Beach hiking group at Trillium Community Forest in October.

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