La Crosse Nature Guide

A one-stop resource of outdoor places for nature connections in La Crosse County

Health Benefits of Nature Exposure


Connecting with nature is important to our health and well-being, but separation from nature is an unintended consequence of our modern world.

Research shows that connecting with nature has a multitude of health benefits:

• Psychological well-being – increase self-esteem, improved mood, and reduced anxiety

• Cognitive – increased attention span, reduced mental fatigue, and improved productivity

• Physiological – reduced stress, lower blood pressure, and reduced cardiovascular & respiratory disease

• Social & Spiritual – increased inspiration and increased social interaction


Research also shows that exposure to outdoor areas that have more biological diversity (biodiversity) provides the greatest health benefits. Unfortunately, much of our urban environment consists only of turfgrass, asphalt, and concrete.


Connecting with nature for as little as 5 minutes a day brings positive health benefits, and the Nature Connections Guide helps people of all ages discover ways they can get their daily dose of nature.

This creation of this Guidebook was a collaborative effort, led by the Nature Connections program of the La Crosse County Health Department. The program is currently funded by Mayo Clinic Health System and the Paul E. Stry Foundation. Thank you to the following organizations for their support:

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