In this uncertain moment it’s easy to focus on the things we can’t do—gather with friends, eat in our favorite restaurant, travel, or even go about our comforting routines. One thing that remains safe and healthy is the great outdoors. A growing body of evidence indicates that spending time in natural environments—at least 120 minutes per week—is associated with better physical and emotional health and well-being.
Like you, we’ve had to modify our work schedules and cut back many of our daily activities. But one perk of the work that we do is that we’re acutely aware that the land always welcomes us. We should know, since we’ve preserved 28,000 acres of it over the last 30 years. And we did this work with you in mind. So make the most of your free time during this early spring by visiting one of our preserves.
There’s the South Branch Preserve in Mount Olive, established to protect the headwaters of the South Branch of the Raritan. Over the past seven years we’ve restored much of the landscape to its natural beauty, replacing cornfields with native trees and shrubs, blazed trails, birdwatching blinds, and a butterfly meadow.
Or check out the Nancy Conger-West Brook Preserve in West Milford, which contains the source of the West Brook, a major source of clean water for the Wanaque Reservoir where two million New Jersey residents get their drinking water. Explore the valley there with its steep rocky hillsides, vast wetlands, and a Class 1 trout production stream.
No need to be cooped up in your house for the next few weeks. Enjoying nature is one of the few activities that’s good for our health and combats cabin fever while following the current social distancing guidelines. So get outside!