The Reporting Template

Data Storytelling

Nature’s Impact on Human Health Action Guide Phase:

It could be argued that the most important part of the survey process is communicating the results. Storytelling helps inspire additional investment of time and resources in nature-based solutions to human health challenges and it may draw attention to health disparities within communities or inequitable access to nature.
Storytelling, however, is not always easy. In the face of too much information, it can be hard to discern what is important to share. Always refer to the original question(s) you sought to answer, then look to see if the analysis uncovered new patterns or ideas.

The  Reporting Template is a guide for storytelling. Use as is or adapt it to your needs.

The Reporting Template, available in English and Spanish, was created to provide users with a simple way to create a report of their findings or as a preliminary case statement for further research or funding for additional green interventions. It is a pre-designed, customizable template of suggested text to help practitioners can craft into a two to four-page report of study results. The template is suitable for community leaders and policymakers, or as a preliminary case statement for further research or funding for additional green interventions.

The template indicates areas where photographs can be placed and provides suggested topics to report, including: 1) the story of the nature/human health research; 2) a vignette from the results gathered during the survey; and 3) supporting results.

Communities across the country are actively working to improve greenspace — planting and protecting trees, removing pavement to create pocket parks and gardens, installing green infrastructure as part of water, transportation, or housing development, and reclaiming land as neighborhood parks. Those communities are looking for ways to measure the benefits of their work to provide:

  1. Estimates of anticipated health and environmental outcomes from proposed greening;
  2. Another way to prioritize siting and types of greenspaces; and
  3. A way to track and communicate progress over time.

This template is designed as a way for community groups, cities, and/or coalitions working to increase urban greenspace to communicate the multiple benefits of their activities. It is meant as a starting point only. Any language can be adjusted to meet the needs of a particular community.

This template was developed by the Willamette Partnership with support from the Nature’s Impact on Human Health Project Team sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy. Any of it can be adjusted as needed. The template was built using the experiences of measuring outcomes in Portland’s Jade District.

Our hope is that each of these building blocks will let communities measure and communicate their work in ways that advance justice and equity, expand their access to new funding streams, and continue to root work in the needs and values of their community. The template was designed to communicate community-level improvements from greening interventions.

There are tools to explore citywide health and environmental data (e.g., EnviroAtlas7 and i-Tree), but there are limited tools to look at smaller scales that also incorporate local data. At the time of the release of this template, there is limited data that allows accurate prediction of how specific green interventions influence specific human health outcomes (e.g., depression and physical activity).

Many health variables are also shaped by social determinants, such as employment, race, transportation, and other systems (McGinnis, Williams-Russo, & Knickman, 2002), making it difficult to tease out any causal relationships between greening and health. Over the near term, this information is likely to get better, and this framework should be updated. Grey boxes within the Reporting Template provide background and instructions for completing the template or sample text that can be adapted. The words and sections highlighted in BLUE TEXT are likely places where you will want to add insert, change or add detail to text.

Nature’s Impact on Human Health Action Guide