FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 14

BOOK REVIEW Book Review The Nature Principle - Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age, by Richard Louv By Patricia Roberts, City of Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation Department To someone whose idea of reconnecting with nature is lounging on a poolside lanai, the journey through this epic research-based call to action for humankind to reconnect with nature has been eye-opening and thought-provoking. The Nature Principle holds that a reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, wellbeing, spirit and survival. Louv further postulates that our society has developed such a reliance on and interest in technology that our bodies are seeking ways to replenish Vitamin N for nature. Findings are convincing that some healthcare providers and organizations have begun to promote nature therapy for an array of illnesses and for disease prevention. Many of us are using the nature tonic, self-medicating with an inexpensive and unusual drug substitute. This tonic, the mind/body/ nature connection, termed Vitamin N for nature, enhances physical and mental health. Throughout this book, Louv encourages us to venture out into nature to find (and/or rediscover for some adults) that "Aha" moment, as the fifth grade girl in Raytown, Missouri, discovers when she goes out into the woods. The young lady feels "like I'm in my mother's shoes....I just felt free; it was like my place..." Louv himself discovered his "Aha" moment in Santa Fe when, sitting among the cottonwood at the river's edge, he writes that "tension 14 crawled up and out of me. It seemed to twist in the air above the green field. Then it was gone. And something better took its place." But the concept of reconnecting with nature, for old and young alike, does not necessarily have to take place while you are "singing for bears," in Alaska but can and should be "lived in place." Families can bond with nature by banding together with other families. Similar to a book club, the "Family Nature Club" plans adventures in nature, where entire families sojourn to replenish their Vitamin N. The "Family Nature Clubs" serve to provide families of all ages the opportunity to enjoy nature in one another's company, stimulating and refreshing families while they make memories that will last a lifetime. Though this book tackles many aspects of how we as a society, in reconnecting with nature, benefit by improved human health, well-being, spirit and survival, the discussion Louv has on Vitamin N and the implications of the effects throughout the medical world is relevant. One could envision the day when a physician writes a script such as: "Directions: Use daily, outdoors in nature. Go on a nature walk, watch birds and observe trees. Practice respectful outdoor behavior in solitude or take with friends and family. Refill: Unlimited. Expires: Never." Within the health professions, interest in the nature prescription is growing. View past issues of FRPA Journal at www.naylornetwork.com/frp-nxt/ Nature has become another tool in the physician's toolbox, going so far as to believe that park rangers can, in effect, become health care providers. Park workers can help people use nature as a conduit for both physical and mental health. Whether our facilities are urban or rural in nature, nature can be restored or even created where we live, work and play. While healthcare providers will prescribe green exercise and other nature experiences, developers and urban planners will create neighborhoods that are nature-inclusive. This movement will dramatically increase the amount of nearby nature and will promote the creation of "de-central parks." In education, school districts will be pushed to incorporate nature's ability to enhance learning and creativity. All of these initiatives will be a win-win for society. Human restoration and the end of nature-deficit disorder is at the very crux of Louv's work, and he makes a convincing case that, through a nature-balanced existence, driven by sound economic, social and environmental solutions, the human resource can and will thrive. The 21st century will be one of human restoration in the natural world and we in parks and recreation must be prepared to handle the impact of increased usage of our existing parks, preserves and trails as well as with an increase in public request for additional amenities. ■ http://www.naylornetwork.com/frp-nxt/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of FRPA Journal - Fall 2016

A Message from the President of FRPA
A Message from the Executive Director of FRPA
Parks and Recreation: What is the Real Value in What We Do?
FRPA Agency Profile
Book Review
Economic Impact of the Underline
Urban Forest Management – The City of Tampa’s Story
The Importance of Structural Pruning of Hardwood Trees
A City’s Rebirth through Park Improvements
“Thank You for My New Bicycle”
Florida’s Emerging Trail Towns
New Urbanism… What’s It All About?
Index of Advertisers
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - cover1
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - cover2
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 3
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 4
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 5
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 6
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - A Message from the President of FRPA
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - A Message from the Executive Director of FRPA
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 9
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - Parks and Recreation: What is the Real Value in What We Do?
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 11
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 12
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - FRPA Agency Profile
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - Book Review
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - Economic Impact of the Underline
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - Urban Forest Management – The City of Tampa’s Story
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 17
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - The Importance of Structural Pruning of Hardwood Trees
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 19
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - A City’s Rebirth through Park Improvements
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 21
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - “Thank You for My New Bicycle”
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - 23
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - Florida’s Emerging Trail Towns
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - New Urbanism… What’s It All About?
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - Index of Advertisers
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - cover3
FRPA Journal - Fall 2016 - cover4
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