Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods Presents
The 34th Annual Smith Nature Symposium Garden Party and Keynote Address
The Nature Fix:
Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, And More Creative
with Florence Williams
Saturday, May 20 · 5:30 – 9 p.m.
An intrepid investigation into nature’s restorative benefits by a prize-winning author.
For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams sets out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain.
From forest trails in Korea, to islands in Finland, to groves of eucalyptus in California, Williams investigates the science at the confluence of environment, mood, health, and creativity. Delving into completely new research, she uncovers the powers of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and ultimately strengthen our relationships. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas—and the answers they yield—are more urgent than ever.
In her keynote address, Florence Williams will present material from her new book, The Nature Fix, about the science behind why access to nature and green space is essential for human health. Partly drawing from assignments for National Geographic and Outside magazines, she will explore how different countries are medicalizing nature and why everyone from schoolchildren to veterans of war to the urban poor can benefit. Join us to hear elegant stories of lives being changed, health being restored, and the conquering of debilitating mental health disorders through mindfulness in nature.