If you feel more relaxed and recharged after a day at the beach or a hike in the mountains, there is a psychological reason for that. Interacting with the natural world is good not only for our bodies but for our minds and spirits too.
What ecopsychology teaches us about why we need regular interaction with the natural world.
What we know intuitively—that interacting with the great outdoors is good for us—is now supported by a robust body of research that provides evidence that contact with nature lowers stress, reduces ruminations, and lessens anxiousness. Interacting with nature also fosters creativity, produces states of calm, restores attention fatigue, and can affect pro-social and pro-environmental behaviors.
One of the areas of psychology that has contributed to our understanding of the impacts of direct contact with nature is ecopsychology. This field of study focuses on understanding the human-nature relationship. A core assumption of ecopsychology is that the outer world and our inner world are intimately connected. After all, we are nature! Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we need regular interaction with the natural world in order to thrive as individuals and as a species. Read the full story here…
SPICER — Let’s Go Fishing volunteer Glen Lotthammer piloted our pontoon boat within casting distance of a dock in the belief that a fish or two might be lurking in its shade.
This was last Monday, and Lotthammer and his volunteer deckhands were joined on Green Lake by seven fourth-grade students from the Willmar Public Schools.
With a few deft casts, student Braylon Burwell managed to drop his slip bobber and leech rig right at the dock’s edge and BAM, down went the bobber.
Burwell soon pulled in a hefty, largemouth bass, gave it a kiss and came home with all of the bragging rights. He caught the biggest, and only, fish in our afternoon excursion with Let’s Go Fishing.
But every one of Burwell’s classmates on that pontoon reached shore wearing smiles as big as the one he had flashed when volunteer Dennis Forcier helped net the big bass.
Lotthammer and Forcier were among the many volunteers who hosted fourth-grade students from the Kennedy and Roosevelt Elementary Schools on outings on Green Lake in Spicer to start the 2022 season for the Willmar chapter of Let’s Go Fishing this past week. Four pontoons were kept busy. If all went as planned, some 220 students will have participated in the outings offered Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
It marked the start of the 20th season for the Willmar chapter, the first and founding chapter for the non-profit organization that now includes 17 chapters across the state and into Wisconsin.
“This has become really huge, every year,” said Rick Reimer of Let’s Go Fishing’s tradition of starting its season by hosting elementary students. Reimer serves as the chapter’s president.
From his wheelchair, Bill Block felt a tug on his fishing rod just below the surface of misty Lake Riley in Eden Prairie. Along with his bright yellow life jacket, Block brought on board another life-saving element — his oxygen tank — as he battled the fish thrashing left and right.
Then Block, a U.S. Navy veteran, broke into a knowing smile as he reeled in his ferocious opponent: a sunfish no bigger than his hand.
Block was 80 at the time and residing in an assisted living facility in Burnsville when he made that memorable trip in 2017. His sponsor was the Eden Prairie chapter of Let’s Go Fishing (LGF), a volunteer-run nonprofit with 17 affiliates across Minnesota and Wisconsin. The organization provides free fishing trips to seniors, hospice patients, youth and families.
Last year, the chapter provided 320 trips to more than 4,100 people.
“Can you imagine being in an assisted living facility and [having] the chance to go fishing?” said Block’s son, also named Bill Block. The elder Block’s grandson also made the Lake Riley expedition, the fifth in the line of Bill Blocks.
“Get outside in the water and the sun and the pontoon boat and it’s all set up for someone in a wheelchair. That was key,” said his son.
Having grown up fishing on lakes in McLeod and Kandiyohi counties, Block seized the opportunity to relive the joy of his youth with his family alongside him. Like so many seniors whom LGF serves, Block continued to regale facility staff with tales of the trip until he died in 2020.
“Thank you for your service.”
A lot of us say it. To the camouflaged young soldier we pass in the airport, or maybe the older gentleman in the black World War II service cap you see when you visit your grandmother in the nursing home. And we mean it. We might even buy their coffee or offer to let them go to the front of the line at the grocery store.
After all, they have risked or are currently risking life and limb to keep us and countless others around the world free and safe.
But there are a few who go well beyond a cup of coffee or a kind word to honor our United States veterans. The volunteers who give their time and energy to the Let’s Go Fishing (LGF) organization are among those who go the extra mile to honor our veterans, as well as serve the elderly and handicapped in their communities. Full story at Mercury Mercury Dockline Blog…