Providing a Cure for Nature Deficit Disorder

According to child advocacy expert and Audubon Medal winner Richard Louv, today the average American child spends 44 hours a week using electronic media. What has been coined “nature deficit disorder” has been linked to increased childhood anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder and obesity. Lack of exposure to sunlight has even been found to contribute to myopia in children. However, studies have shown that when people enjoy greater access to nature, many of these effects are reversed, and their overall biological and psychological health improves. With its rich variety of recreational opportunities, such as the Piedmont Nature Trails, the Children’s Wonder Garden and education programs for all ages, the North Carolina Botanical Garden enhances the health and wellbeing of people in our community.

Through our many Horticultural Therapy programs, people with physical disabilities, psychological disorders, dementia and other challenges experience the healing and restorative benefits of hands-on gardening, plant cultivation and cooking. And the Wonder Connection provides hospitalized pediatric patients with a connection to the natural world via hands-on natural science activities, instilling joy and increasing science knowledge. The natural science activities are patient-centered and focus on empowerment through creativity.

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