Please join us and enjoy the beauty of our campus and our local environment! Meet CSWHP and Campus Recreation staff outside of Zot N Go at 11:30AM and we will begin our stroll which will incorporate mindfulness, meditation and ecological education. Enjoy the company of and meet new students, staff and faculty. Go at your own pace and feel free to leave if needed.

If there are any questions, please contact Doug Everhart, everhart@uci.edu.

Fall 2019 Schedule

*All walks meet in front of Zot N’ Go at 11:30AM

  • Wednesday, October 9: UCI Aldrich Park
  • Wednesday, October 23: Mason Park
  • Wednesday, November 6: UCI Arboretum
  • Wednesday, November 20: Sea & Sage Audobon Area
  • Wednesday, December 4: UCI Ecological Preserve

Aldrich Park

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The vision of the first Chancellor at UCI, Dan Aldrich, was to build the campus in a circle in order to protect and preserve the “centerpiece” of the campus … a beautiful park. It has been a place for the campus to gather and enjoy its beauty. Commencement and other large-scale events happen there as well. Over time, foot traffic to navigate the campus dictated walking paths. These paths are either asphalt or dirt/gravel, and include various levels of incline, but are fully accessible.

Mason Park

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Mason Park, just off campus at the corner of University and Harvard, is a public city park that includes beautiful walking paths (both concrete and dirt/gravel), a lake, picnic areas, playgrounds and more. Ducks, geese, turtles and other animals can be observed in this beautiful park. It is fairly flat and fully accessible.

UCI Arboretum & Marsh

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The UCI Arboretum & Marsh is home to many species of indigenous plant and wildlife. Dr. Peter Bowler, Director of the Arboretum and professor of Ecological and Evolutionary Biology, guides us and provides an educational history of this beautiful space. The walking paths are dirt and uneven in some spaces, but mostly flat and accessible for the most part.

Sea & Sage Audubon / San Jaoquin Wildlife Sanctuary

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Adjacent to the campus at the corner of University and Campus Drives, the Sea & Sage Audubon and San Jaoquin Wildlife Sanctuary provide a beautiful and serene getaway. This area is home to multiple ponds, indigenous plant life, and is home to many species of birds and other creatures. Walking paths are dirt/gravel and well-kept, as well as mostly even and flat, making this location fully accessible.

UCI Ecological Preserve

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For one of the best views of the UCI campus and beyond, the UCI Ecological Preserve is home to numerous indigenous plant species and wildlife. A steep trail, takes you to the top of a hill adjacent to the University Hills housing community, where a stunning view of the campus and surrounding areas can be enjoyed. The trail for this location is steep and uneven, so this is one walk location that isn’t accessible for wheelchairs or others with some physical disabilities.

Wednesday Wellness Walks Photos

Click on the photo to view the album

10/24/18 (Mason Park)

11/7/18 (UCI Arboretum)

11/21/18 (Sea & Sage Audubon)

2/13/19 (UCI Arboretum)

3/13/19 (UCI Ecological Preserve)

4/10/19 (Aldrich Park)

4/24/19 (Mason Park)

5/8/19 (UCI Arboretum)

5/22/19 (Sea & Sage Audubon)

Research Supporting the Benefits of Walking & Being in Nature

 

New York Times

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How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week, Doctors Say

It’s a medical fact: Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is good for you.

A wealth of research indicates that escaping to a neighborhood park, hiking through the woods, or spending a weekend by the lake can lower a person’s stress levels, decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk asthma, allergies, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, while boosting mental health and increasing life expectancy. Doctors around the world have begun prescribing time in nature as a way of improving their patients’ health.

One question has remained: How long, or how frequently, should you experience the great outdoors in order to reap its great benefits? Is there a recommended dose? Just how much nature is enough?

Read more…

Int. Journal of Env. Research & Public Health

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Low Childhood Nature Exposure is Associated with Worse Mental Health in Adulthood

The global burden of mental illnesses has increased over the years [1,2]. Mental health can be negatively influenced by urban built environments, including among other characteristics, exposure to noise, crowds and lack of green spaces [3,4,5,6]. Previous studies found that green spaces positively influence physical and mental health as well as general well-being in adults [7,8,9,10,11,12,13]. Living close to natural outdoor environments (NOE) and attractiveness of nearby NOE are both associated with increased recreational activity and time spent in nature [14,15,16,17,18]. The health benefits of nature have been attributed to reduction in air pollution; increased physical activity, including walking and biking; improved mental restoration through alleviation of anxiety and stress; and the beneficial effects of social interaction by reducing social loneliness and generation of social capital [19,20,21,22].

 

Read more…