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I will drive to quantify the benefits.

When it comes to getting outside, the studies are now numerous and the findings are clear.  Not only is interaction with nature essential for physical health and cognitive function, it's beneficial for emotional well-being and stress reduction.  I believe many of us can attest to this personally after what we have just been experiencing with COVID.

An article by Jim Robbins for Yale Environment 360 published in January 2020, just before quarantine became our new way of life, could not have been more timely and prescient.  The short article is worth reading but I think this quote is particularly resonant. 

These studies have shown that time in nature — as long as people feel safe — is an antidote for stress: It can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduce nervous system arousal, enhance immune system function, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood.

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg regarding the health benefits of our parks.  Research and initiatives by our friends at The Trust for Public Land and others are seeking to quantify all the many ways in which city parks benefit us.  I commit to supporting and advancing these initiatives with particular interest in identifying measurable benefits, i.e., quantifying the value of the MPRB parks and programs so we can fully appreciate the return on our shared investment.