Science continues to show us that getting outside and connecting to nature is important!
There is a strong positive relationship between contact with nature and physical and mental health. Research has shown that those with a high sense of connectedness to nature are happier, and that spending time in natural environments allows for physical and mental restoration. After spending multiple days in natural environments away from technological distractions, people showed a renewed capacity to make executive decisions, and demonstrated increased levels of creativity and problem-solving. People with stronger nature-connectedness report more positive emotions, vitality, enthusiasm, increased attention, and a greater ability to focus on problems at hand. They also experience feelings of renewal, restoration, compatibility, connection, and satisfaction.
National and Provincial Parks and Recreational Areas
There are many national and provincial parks, wilderness areas, and public recreation areas in northern Alberta. For a dose of the mountains, head to Jasper National Park, Willmore Wilderness Park, or the Bighorn Backcountry (help make the Bighorn a Wildland Provincial Park!). To experience northern Alberta’s Beaver Hills area, check out Elk Island National Park, Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, or the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Public Recreation Area. Why not view the dunes at the Athabasca Dunes Ecological Reserve, or challenge yourself to visit Canada’s largest national park, Wood Buffalo National Park, where you can see endangered Whooping Cranes nesting or bison roaming! In the spring, check out the Swan Festival at Saskatoon Lake Provincial Park!
Edmonton has over 460 urban parks, including the “Ribbon of Green,” the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America, stretching over 48km in the North Saskatchewan River valley. The number of activities in urban parks is infinite, with fun things to do in every season of the year. You can paddle along the North Saskatchewan River, or take your dog to one of many off-leash dog parks in the city. In Edmonton, check out:
For More Information about Parks and Protected Areas...
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