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Trees Ontario released A Healthy Dose of Green at the 63rd Annual OFA Conference

TORONTO, ON, Feb. 10, 2012 – Today, at the Ontario Forestry Association’s 63rd Annual Conference, Trees Ontario presented a paper entitled A Healthy Dose of Green: A prescription for a healthy population.

A Healthy Dose of Green highlights the direct links between the natural environment – especially trees and forests – and human health. These links include the physical, physiological, and rehabilitation benefits of forest environments, the physical activities they promote, and the many ecosystem services they provide.

“This paper provides an excellent overview and a unique perspective on ways by which changes in our environment may lead to improved health and well-being,” said Dr. John McLaughlin, Senior Investigator at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, and Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in Toronto. “Trees Ontario is to be congratulated for its summary of scientific literature, which begins a much needed cross-sectoral dialogue on the how forests and the greening of communities can contribute to better health.”

“The paper aims to draw attention to the existing body of research by scientists and highlights the restorative effects of trees and forests,” said Rob Keen, Trees Ontario CEO. “It offers recommendations to address the degradation of our natural environment through increased awareness, conservation and enhancement efforts.”

Forests and green spaces have been linked to a significant decline in asthma, heart disease, diabetes, stress and certain childhood illnesses, as well as improved rehabilitation and faster hospital recovery rates.

This year, the theme of OFA’s annual conference was Healthy Forests for Healthy People. “It is important that we understand the effects of our natural environment on our personal health. Our aim was to draw attention to these effects so that proactive health promotion strategies could be developed,” said Tracy Smith, Executive Director of the Ontario Forestry Association.

“Trees are good for our health,” added Keen. “They replenish our oxygen, filter out air pollution, protect our drinking water supplies, and help cool our cities and towns.”

Download the report or click here to view the video.