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Nature as an Antidote to ACEs
May 23, 2023
Trees are living symbols of peace and hope. A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded...
-Wangari Maathai, Unbowed

“Time in nature can be a powerful antidote to the negative impacts of trauma and stress in children’s lives. When family service providers incorporate nature into their therapeutic work, children and families experience a wide range of benefits, including improved mental and physical health, stronger relationships, better communication, reduced stress, and healing from trauma,” states the Child and Nature Network (C&NN), in their introduction to an evidence-based toolkit, “Nature helps children recover from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).”

In one of the accompanying editorials, Dr. Cathy Jordan, Consulting Research Director for the C&NN, notes, “Although nature might be good for all children, it’s especially good for those who might be at risk for poorer health, mental health, social or educational outcomes as a result of factors associated with limited financial resources. The implication is that equitable access to nature could, for example, help close educational achievement gaps or reduce health disparities.”

Access the free toolkit from C&NN in both English and Spanish.


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