Promoting the Perks of Nature
The Nature and Human Health Collaborative is the first of its kind in Utah
By Sarah Shebek
The REI Cooperative Action Fund is also funding an NHH-Alliance. The goal of this group will be to create a nationwide nature and health movement by emphasizing of the value of nature in health, and the importance of the health of our environment. The alliance will also help facilitate launching additional NHH chapters across the U.S.
NHH-UT is the first chapter outside of the state of Washington, where the initial group began. Schmalz and her team have big goals in community outreach for the Salt Lake Valley.
“We’re trying to do a grassroots effort to start the conversation. We want to do a speaker series, bring in people from research and practice. Let’s connect and get this conversation going,” Schmalz said.
To accomplish that goal, NHH-UT hosts monthly meetings that include presentations from research experts and are open to the public. On March 16, they hosted their first event, featuring former directors of the National Park Service.
If you’re interested in joining the movement, you can sign up for the NHH-UT newsletter online and join their membership.
“We want to bring more visibility to the idea of nature as a preventive health tool,” Schmalz said. “What better place to do that than in Utah, where our natural resources are such an important part of our identity?”