2014: We began when a small group of UW researchers and members of the broader community got together to talk about how time spent in nature could positively affect health and what the implications of those effects are for urban planning, outdoor programs, school design, and myriad other plans, programs, and policies.
2015: With support from the UW Center for Creative Conservation and the then Dean of the School of Public Health, Professors Howie Frumkin and Josh Lawler reconvened the group at a local brewpub, doubling its size. The group met every few months to share research findings, program plans, and policy ideas informally over beer and dinner. It continued to over 160 researchers, educators, health care providers, policymakers, and others–all interested in the ways that time spent in nature can improve health.
2017: In a paper led by Howie Frumkin, the community published an agenda for research to identify potential health benefits of time spent in nature. Guided by the agenda and the needs of the growing community, we embarked on a mission to better understand multiple aspects of the relationship between nature and health.