GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spending time outdoors and enjoying nature can be a real stress-reliever. In fact, one nature preserve feels it could help some of our front-line workers.
Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids noticed more people hitting the trails during quarantine earlier this year. Many of those people were healthcare workers taking a break from fighting COVID-19.
That got staff thinking of a way to give back and show its appreciation. As a result, Blandford is now offering complimentary one-year Blandford Nature Center Healthcare Memberships to healthcare workers and their families.
Jason Meyer, president and CEO of Blandford Nature Center, said the response has been overwhelming, with 5,500 healthcare workers taking advantage of the offer. The free membership is open to healthcare workers at Mary Free Bed, Spectrum Health, Metro Health University of Michigan Health, and Mercy Health.
"Being outside in nature is critical to every single person on this planet," Meyer explained. "It literally gives us the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. But the specific health benefits of being outside range from being more physically active, which aids in controlling blood pressure, weight loss, memory, and concentration."