Wellness & Family Fun Activities

A Walk Along the River at LaBagh Woods is Good for You

In the spring-summer 2021 edition of our newsletter, the River Reporter, we covered the many documented benefits of getting outdoors. Over the last two decades, hundreds of studies have found a direct relationship between access to nature and good physical and mental health and long-term well-being. Just some of the benefits include lower stress and anxiety; reduced incidences of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure; children doing better in school; lower impacts from ADHD; and improved immune function. A meta-analysis of 140 such studies involving 290 million people from 20 countries by the University of East Anglia in the U.K. confirmed that “spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits,” including most of those listed above.

Bird Watching

Described by a restoration volunteer as a “five-star hotel for birds,” LaBagh Woods is one of the best places in Chicago for bird watching. Volunteers have recorded 187 bird species, including more than 45 that breed at LaBagh Woods.

Among the numerous birds frequently spotted at LaBagh Woods are the yellow warbler, Baltimore oriole, northern cardinal, spring warblers, tanagers, and sparrows as well as cooper’s and red-tailed hawks.

For more information about birding visit the Chicago Audubon Society.

Use Your Senses to Bathe in Nature

Forest bathing, sometimes called forest therapy, gives us the opportunity to slow down our mind and body and connect with the forest, and the river.  According the Chicago Tribune, “Forest bathing was developed in Japan in the 1980s after the population was experiencing a high amount of health issues primarily related to stress.”

Download our easy-use guides for exercises for all ages in how to create a nature journal, use sound maps, drawing challenges, how to make a nature slide show, and how to use all four senses to experience the wonder of nature that is all around you at LaBagh Woods.