The La Crosse County Nature Connections program is releasing a one-stop electronic resource for connecting with nature in La Crosse County – www.natureconnectionslax.org!
This electronic Nature Guide is a resource aiming to make outdoor, nature-rich places in La Crosse County easier to discover – for residents and visitors alike. The array of parks, nature preserves, and hiking and biking trails is expansive. As such, locating and accessing information about each one can quickly become an internet scavenger hunt. This Guide will become your ‘home base’ when seeking out natural areas in La Crosse County. The Guide’s interactive map allows you to search outdoor places by location. Furthermore, each trail has a specific page identifying all access points, directions, parking, and trail terrain & difficulty. A unique feature of the site includes a biodiversity rating for each area (variety of different types of life throughout a given environment) and a listing of dominant features expected in each location.
Research shows that connecting with nature has a multitude of health benefits:
- Psychological well-being – increase self-esteem, improved mood, and reduced anxiety
- Cognitive – increased attention span, reduced mental fatigue, and improved productivity
- Physiological – reduced stress, lower blood pressure, and reduced cardiovascular & respiratory disease
- Social & Spiritual – increased inspiration and increased social interaction
Did you know that, as little as 5 minutes a day spent connecting with nature can have a positive impact on your health! Furthermore, research shows that exposure to outdoor areas that have more biological diversity (biodiversity) provides the greatest health benefits.
Tiffany Lein, MPH, RDN
LA CROSSE COUNTY