The following principles informed the development of the guide:
- Measuring the impact of a green intervention enables understanding of its effectiveness, informs future program adjustments and provides evidence to enhance storytelling.
- Clear and authentic communication is an essential component for community dialogue, new and continued funding opportunities, and policy development.
- The vetted guide provides one resource for a variety of stakeholders to rally around and to build a constituency of supporters for green interventions.
What are green interventions?
Green interventions are efforts to increase nature, and access to nature in urban, suburban and rural locations to improve health in communities where it is most needed.
For the purposes of this guide, we define a green intervention in three broad categories: 1) a greening activity; 2) an activity designed to engage people in nature, particularly outdoors; and 3) the participatory planning process for a green intervention, itself, which we recognize can have therapeutic value in and of itself. Examples of green interventions include:
- Planting trees & shrubs along public boulevards or in community gathering spaces
- Restoring vacant lots to encourage community use
- Providing space for outdoor activity, education and the promotion of wellness
- Coordinating an outdoor community walking campaign within a park or greenspace
- Creating community events to celebrate some connection to nature, such as a monarch butterfly festival in a community through which monarch butterflies migrate
- Investigating the value of nature preserves to support improvements in accessibility and services
- Facilitating a participatory planning process for the development of a new park
- Engaging community members in dialogue about nature and human health priorities
Health and well-being domains
To assess a green intervention’s impact, The Nature’s Impact on Human Health Guide looks at four human health and well-being domains:
- Physical activity/health
- Mental health
- Social cohesion
- Reduce risks to environmental exposures