News

One-Stop Nature Shop

September 24, 2018

The La Crosse County Nature Connections Program is releasing a one-stop electronic resource
for connecting with nature in La Crosse County – www.natureconnectionslax.org!

This electronic Nature Guide is a resource aiming to make outdoor, nature-rich places in La
Crosse County easier to discover – for residents and visitors alike. The array of parks, nature
preserves, and hiking and biking trails is expansive. As such, locating and accessing information
about each one can quickly become an internet scavenger hunt. This Guide will become your
‘home base’ when seeking out natural areas in La Crosse County. The Guide’s interactive map
allows you to search outdoor places by location. Furthermore, each trail has a specific page
identifying all access points, directions, parking, and trail terrain and difficulty. A unique feature
of the site includes a biodiversity rating for each area (variety of different types of life
throughout a given environment) and a listing of dominant features expected in each location.

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 and respiratory disease.
  • Social and Spiritual – increased inspiration and increased social interaction

Did you know that, as little as 5 minutes a day spent connecting with nature can have a positive
impact on your health! Furthermore, research shows that exposure to outdoor areas that have
more biological diversity (biodiversity) provides the greatest health benefits.

The goal of the Nature Connections Program is to provide opportunities for the community to
improve their health through increased exposure to nature and combat the national trend of
people not spending enough time in nature. Funding for the Nature Connections Program is
provided by the La Crosse Community Foundation.