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Experience the Benefits of Nature During Mental Health Awareness Month

two sandhill cranes in a wetland at Deer Grove-East

Whether taking a walk along a trail, sitting peacefully near a lake, or doing an activity in nature, there is growing scientific research showing that outdoor nature-based activities can improve human health. Numerous studies have shown that daily exposure to nature has a wide range of health benefits for both body and mind, such as reducing blood pressure, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, decreasing symptoms of depression, and improving mood.

To build awareness of these benefits and the importance of nature’s role in improving mental health, the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Nature, Culture, and Human Health Network (NCH2) have created a Tools 2 Thrive Outside campaign, offering practical tools that everyone can use to improve and strengthen their mental health, including ways to connect with and spend time in nature.

Throughout the month, NCH2 is sharing daily tips on getting outdoors, bi-weekly tips on #Tools2ThriveOutside, as well as information on events, resources and more. Be sure to check out the NCH2 website for a calendar complete with daily tips and tools.


Wellness in the Woods Events

Interested in joining us to #Take5ToThrive? Check out the list below for upcoming “Wellness in the Woods” events in the Forest Preserves. Or check out our full schedule of events for even more opportunities to get outside and experience the benefits on nature.


Wellness in the Woods logo
Sat, Nov 26 • 1:30 pm

Wellness in the Woods

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473
Crabtree Nature Center building in Barrington Hills
Sun, Nov 27 • 1 pm

Thankful for Mother Nature Walk

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Wellness in the Woods logo
Sat, Dec 31 • 10 am

New Year’s Wellness Walk

Crabtree Nature Center • Barrington Hills, IL 60010
The visitors center at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
Sat, Dec 31 • 10 am

Renew, Rejuvenate, Restore

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center • Willow Springs, IL 60480
Wellness in the Woods logo
Sat, Jan 21 • 1:30 pm

Wellness in the Woods: Soak Up the Sun!

Sand Ridge Nature Center • South Holland, IL 60473