Written by: Nicole White
We hope you're all doing your best to stay safe and healthy. A connection to nature can help reduce stress and enhance mental health, so we've prepared a list of resources and recommendations to help us all get through this time.
Any book you can dream of can be ordered online in hard copy or ebook form. Also, while your local library may be closed, you may still be able to check out ebooks or digital audiobooks on their website. Here are a couple of our reading recommendations:
An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds by Johnathan Silvertown
Janel says, 'Mari-Ann is currently using her extra time to read our friend Tara Nolan’s newly released book and is loving it.'
Seed to Seed: The Secret Life of Plants by Nichlas Harberd
Summer says: 'Once you have read “Bringing Nature Home” and start making changes in your own back-yard, you will soon want to buy a copy for every friend and family member to help your efforts multiply. The review on the front of the book says it all, If you have a backyard, this book is for you.'
While museums and botanical gardens may be closed, you can still delve into natural history for free online:
Emily Dickenson's Herbarium
CanPlant cannot help you find which plants grow best in dragon's blood, but this Old English manuscript, made available by the British Library, can do that and then some. An interesting view for those interested in botany and medieval history.
Create a Plant List with CanPlant
The National Film Board of Canada
Kingdom of Plants 3D
Note: Please check the recommendations of your public health professionals for this one! In some cases, it may be advisable to stay indoors.
Christina says, 'Nature is one of the few things is still open for enjoyment. Go for a solo hike or jog in your favourite natural space. Studies have shown that immersing yourself in nature helps to reduce stress and improve mental health (something we all could use right now!)
Not only that, but maintaining physical activity and getting some good ol’ Vitamin D is important while we are all cooped up inside for the near future. Make it a time to reflect and be calm, or exert pent up energy or anxiety that many of us are feeling these days.
AllTrails is a great (and free!) app that shows you trails in your area, and allows you to filter for less popular spots as we all try and maintain social distancing. As a safety precaution, be sure to carry your cell phone and have a friend or family member aware of your whereabouts if you do endeavour out alone.'
Summer says, 'I personally find it very hard to “unplug” especially at a time like this when you want to constantly check the news for updates, not healthy! I use this app to temporarily lock my phone to stop me looking at it, it grows a virtual tree that will die if you stop before your time is up. Bonus, you get points that can be redeemed to purchase a real tree the company will plant through a tree planting initiative! '
Do you have any photos in your collection of plant species you've identified? If you want to help CanPlant's mission, now would be a great time to see if you can help us fill in the gaps in our database. Use the Submit a Photo form, or Contact Us directly if you have a larger collection you'd like to share.
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Take care of yourself and your loved ones. And if you can, let a connection to nature help you be resilient.