Does Nature Nurture?: The Positive Impact of Outdoor Immersion on Physical and Mental Health, and the Creation of an Arizona Outdoor Adventure Guide
Spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on the physical and mental health of individuals. These physiological and psychological benefits were comprehensively reviewed, accompanied by a brief history of these views in American society and how modern programs are promoting outdoor activity. Some of the populations targeted in this research include children, veterans, the elderly, and the clinically ill. A guidebook for Arizona outdoor adventures \u2014 containing original landscape photography \u2014 was created to encourage ASU students to explore local hikes, campsites, and other outdoor opportunities near the city of Phoenix. Each entry contained a brief description of the area or trail, along with the distance from the ASU Tempe campus and information on the length and difficulty of the hike, if applicable. A section at the end of the book was aimed at education readers on basic outdoor survival protocol, as many people venture into the wild with very little understanding of the dangers associated with their activities. A website was made that mirrors the guidebook, but was intended to be a more accessible method of sharing our information. The final component of the project involved maintaining a social media account over the course of the year, allowing us to expand our reach to people beyond ASU and this community. Over the course of the project, the account gained a large following, and several posted photos went on to be featured on prominent regional accounts. By combining the four components described previously, several resources were created for people, particularly students attending ASU, to gain a better understanding of the outdoor adventures available to them, and the benefits that spending time surrounded by nature can have.