Canadians ‘disconnected’ from nature: NCC survey

The Canadian Press

TORONTO–A suvey for the Nature Conservancy of Canada indicates Canadians feel happier when they are connected to nature but fewer are making the effort the get out of the house.
The online survey of 2,000 Canadians found 87 percent of respondents felt happier, healthier, and more productive when connected to nature.
But 74 percent said it’s simply easier to spend time indoors and 66 percent said they spend less time in nature than they used to.
It also found more than 80 percent of respondents are concerned that accessible natural areas won’t be there for future generations, and that 94 percent of Canadians are aware of the physical and mental health benefits of spending time in nature.
The Nature Conservancy released the survey results today to highlight its “Landmark Campaign,” an effort to double the land and water conserved by the NCC to more than 2.4 million hectares.
To inspire Canadians to contribute to the $750-million campaign, the NCC has curated a pop-up art exhibit called “Nature and Me,” featuring nature photography and reflections from notable Canadians, that will travel across the country.
Jim Cuddy, Ed Burtynsky, Rick Mercer, Clara Hughes, and Adam van Koeverden are among those sharing their stories in the “Nature and Me” exhibit to highlight the importance of nature as an inspiration in their lives.
The survey, conducted by Ipsos Research, also indicated Canadians spend an average of 1.3 hours per day in nature during the week and two hours on the weekend.
Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed said that reducing stress was a benefit of nature while 57 percent listed lowering blood pressure as a benefit.
Among the reasons cited for spending time indoors were busy personal lives and environmental factors such as rain, snow, bugs, and insects.
The Landmark Campaign already has raised $545-million towards its $750-million goal and completed 390-of-500 planned projects, which include restoring rare habitats, supporting species at risk, and improving the quality of air and water.
“We are at a turning point,” Nature Conservancy president John Lounds said in a release.
“It’s time to talk boldly about the tangible benefits nature provides, and the urgency and importance of protecting it,” he stressed.