LiveWell Louisiana

Get Outside

Being in nature can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
August 17th, 2015 by: Misty Miloto

We all know that getting outside, taking in some fresh air and enjoying the sunshine is a great way to boost happiness. In fact, according to a study published in Psychological Science, interacting with nature gives your brain a break from overstimulation. As a result, your attention levels can actually improve. And, another study conducted by researchers from the University of Essex found that taking a walk in nature reduced depression scores in 71 percent of participants (compared to only 45 percent of participants who had reduced depression scores after taking a walk in a shopping center). With all of this in mind, it seems like a perfectly reasonable idea to get outside, and enjoy the city’s parks and green spaces.

Thankfully, New Orleans is home to Parkway Partners — a non-profit organization whose mission is to “empower residents to improve their communities through the preservation, maintenance and beautification of neutral grounds, urban gardens, green spaces, playgrounds, parks and the urban forest in New Orleans.” The organization began in 1982 in response to budget cuts to the New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways. Today, it supports extensive programming throughout Orleans Parish, including more than 45 community gardens and urban farms; 11 public schoolyard gardens; the development and restoration of multiple parks, including Cancer Survivor’s Plaza, Lee Circle, Jackson Square, Washington Square and Palmer Park; and more than 11,500 trees planted since Hurricane Katrina. 

The organization also hosts a free lecture and corresponding plant sale (that reflects the day’s topic and the current planting season) on the second Saturday of every month. 

Fint out more info at 1137 Baronne St., (504) 620-2224,