What is nature connection and why do we need it?
Daily experiences within naturally rich environments can transform the way we learn, grow, work and live. By choosing learning, working and living environments that weave in opportunities to experience nature and the great outdoors, we can develop connections with nature that support a wonderful array of social, economc and environmental benefits.
But what is nature connection and why is it important?
Nature Connection is more than being ‘exposed’ or building ‘knowledge’ about nature; it’s about creating opportunities for individuals and communities to experience nature through tactile interactions that provide felt experiences and emotional connections. We will only be able to achieve the full benefits of nature when we undergo firsthand experience, build empathy and self-awareness, improve our skills and knowledge and recognise the need to invest in authentic social connectedness.
To help to provide you with a better understanding on what is nature connection is and why we need it, please listen to any or all of the following short recordings.
Dr Miles Holmes: (approx 6 minutes). Miles provides an overview on his PhD research findings on the importance of connection to place and describes how nature connection is about providing experiential engagement opportunities with nature that evoke felt experiences and emotional connections. Miles is an anthropologist with over 20 years experience in environmental education and bushcraft. He has spent the last 15 years working and consulting on Indigenous land issues, community governance, native title, scared object repatriation and ethno-ecological research and has worked throughout Australia for land councils, universities and government research agencies. Miles is also a co-founder of The Connective.
Rob Richards: (approx 2 minutes). Rob provides an overview on the scientific description of our understanding of nature connection. Based on our extensive literature research to date The Connective has produced a set of pathways that describe documented cause and effect relationships between nature connection, wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviour. Understanding these pathways and the factors that influence these pathways will increase our effectiveness and understanding of how we can improve the design of future nature connection programs. Rob is also a co-founder of The Connective.
Andrea Turner: (approx 2.5 minutes). In this talk Andrea describes the relationship between nature connection and anxiety, where anxiety is now seen as being commonplace within our communities. Andrea is a mental health practitioner with a Masters in Social Work. As a counsellor and emotional, social health and wellbeing mentor, Andrea has an interest in the relationship between individuals and their immediate surroundings (ie: environment, culture, community, home, work, family etc) which is the foundation of sustaining health and wellbeing. Andrea is also a co-founder of The Connective.
More stories are on there way…