Like nature itself, the Nature, Culture, and Human Health Network is constantly evolving. Started in 2014, the Nature, Culture, and Human Health Network (NCH2 for short) has been a central communication network for those in the Chicagoland area interested in research highlighting nature’s positive effects on human health.
How did this network come about?
The idea for the network sprang from a symposium held at the Chicago Botanic Garden in 2014 titled “Nature, Culture, and Human Health.” At the end of the symposium, people were so excited about the work being done by the speakers and others in the field that a committee was formed to keep the excitement going.
What was the original steering committee's role in the creation of NCH2?
The original steering committee held meetings to discuss what they needed to do to support the interest in nature's positive effect on human health, and they decided to create a network. They wanted NCH2 to become a node for people in the Chicagoland area who wanted to explore nature’s health benefits in their own programs or research. The steering committee created different facets within the network to accomplish what they saw as the ultimate goal of NCH2.
What is the ultimate goal of NCH2?
The goal of the NCH2 network is to build relationships. Our mission statement is “The NCH2 Network connects people with interests in investigating and applying knowledge about the health benefits of nature to improve the health and well-being of our communities.”
What is the network doing now and what are some of the network's highlights?
Following the 2018 symposium, the updated steering committee implemented a coffee & discussion meeting series. This series provides an ongoing way for members to meet and talk about topics of interest, following our goal of relationship building.
The members of NCH2 can also connect by joining one of the two working groups: one with a focus in education and the other with a focus in nature prescriptions. NCH2 members can stay involved in the network by attending the symposia that happen every other year, which focus on different up and coming topics that relate to nature’s health benefits.
Who and what makes up NCH2?
NCH2 is anchored by four organizations: the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, and Northwestern University. Although anchored by organizations, the network consists of individuals representing other governmental agencies, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, and individual people.
Overall, NCH2 is growing day by day with all of the new information sprouting up about nature’s health benefits. If the health benefits of nature and what the NCH2 network is doing interests you, get involved! Visit this page for more information.