The Nature’s Impact on Human Health Guide is a resource primarily intended for practitioners seeking to evaluate the impact of green interventions on human health to inspire additional investment of time and resources in nature-based solutions to human health challenges. The reasons to do so are varied and supported by a growing body of research linking improved community health with nearby nature and green infrastructure. Climate change and an urbanizing planet, however, threaten the health of both nature and people and draw attention to inequities of health within communities. Now, more than ever, green interventions need to be implemented at scale.
The USDA Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy’s North America Cities Network and several partners developed the Nature’s Impact on Human Health Action Guide (hereafter, “guide”) to help practitioners:
- Demonstrate the human health effects of green interventions.
- Learn about individual health in general and as a result of nature engagement.
- Investigate what nature-based health-related needs are important in a particular community.
- Understand how individuals rate their nature experiences, among other things.
Who should use this guide?
This guide was designed to help practitioners and community leaders with limited access to formal researchers to recruit, conduct an evaluation and analyze information collected. Having a great idea but not having formal research training or capacity should not be a hurdle to investigating an idea with the potential to help improve a community’s health and the nature that supports it. The guide contains a variety of information to assist practitioners in effectively conducting evaluations involving people. It is divided into four phases to better meet the needs of users based on research experience, project size and available resources.