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Knowing Time In Nature Is Good For Seniors, Great Parks Designs Programs To Get Them Out More

elderly couple walks a gravel path, back to camera, while holding hands. Greenery lines both sides of the path.
Visual Stories||Micheile

Great Parks of Hamilton County is partnering with Brookwood Retirement Community on a series of nature programs designed to help people living in senior care facilities - and their families - interact with nature.

"There's plenty of scientific studies that say that people being out in nature is good for their mind, body and soul," says Julie Robinson, regional education manager with Great Parks. "By having these experiences outside, they're getting to renew their minds, their health. It will help them live longer and feel better and remain independent by being out in nature."

The pilot includes four sessions at Sharon Woods. Each program includes an activity in nature such as a walk or hike, a craft, a nature presentation and snacks and giveaways.

If successful, it could be expanded to other county parks and facilities operated by The Health Care Management Group near them.

"Families that have residents in these homes, when they come and visit with them and they take them places, they usually don't go more than six or seven miles from that location," Robinson says. "So, we're trying to have a program that will meet that center at one of our parks that's close by."

Additionally, if the programs are a hit, Great Parks could look to offer more programs specifically modified to meet the needs of older participants. For example, Robinson says, this could include yoga, walking and hiking series, or gardening - programs they already offer, but with adjustments to make them more accessible.

Though the initial partnership is with Brookwood Retirement Community, the programs are open to the public.


Connect With Nature Senior Series: Butterflies
Wednesday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m. – noon

Connect With Nature Senior Series: Ohio State Symbols
Saturday, Oct. 9, 10 a.m. – noon

Connect With Nature Senior Series: Feathered Friends
Thursday, Oct. 14, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Connect With Nature Senior Series: Fall Foliage
Saturday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Registration information is available here.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.