Green Spaces Positively Influence the Mental Development of Children
Many parents hope their child will get into a good college. That motive is frequently behind where parents choose to buy a home. They want the best possible school district for their kids.
But as study after study shows, parents might want to also look at how green the district is — or how green their own residential neighborhood will be. For one recently published study suggests that growing up among green surroundings can improve a child’s IQ.
This study covered in The Guardian earlier this week analyzed what happens to a child’s IQ when the green space is increased. The average IQ score of children in the study went up by 2.6 points in both richer and poor neighborhoods.
Analyst believe that perhaps this cognitive development came about because green areas lower stress levels, encourage play, and that a quieter environment is conducive to increased social contact.
Other studies, like a Danish one published last year proved, for example, that living near a park or forest may aid a child’s mental health later in life — giving children a 55% lower risk of developing a mental disorder.
In addition to choosing a town or area with lots of green public spaces, one’s private residential property can be landscaped to ensure sufficient green space for your children.
“We love being in the business of creating such harmonious landscapes. Of course, not all properties make it easy to design such a space,” says our owner Dave Stockwell. “Sometimes the property’s grades or its size make it a challenge. One of the things we do well at Deck and Patio is manipulate grades within the different levels so the family can get the maximum enjoyment.”
This is a good example (left) of just such careful manipulation.
Deck and Patio worked with True Blue Swimming Pools (Dix Hills) to design and build a lagoon-style pool on this property which included a swim-up bar, yet we still managed to leave some lawn space where their children could play.
“The homeowners had previously spoken with other pool and landscape companies, who all wanted to put the pool where the lawn is. But Michael Truehart of True Blue felt it was a pity to use up that flat piece of lawn, where the children loved to play,” adds Dave.
“What was required in order to allow for that was a lot of creative landscaping within the grades, including the pool design. We just had to sculpt the unusual elevated terrain so as to incorporate all that was on their wish list.”
Green Space with Water Features
‘Green’ doesn’t mean only an expansive lawn. A natural environment that aids in the reduction of stress in both children and adults includes lush vegetation as well as, perhaps, a pond, or other water feature for that extra dose of tranquility.
Deck and Patio’s design for this project not only included lots of green space and a waterfall area but an attractive patio for relaxation.
“We also try to keep as many trees as possible when we design an upgrade to someone’s landscaping,” says Dave Stockwell. “Trees are a precious commodity for our well being in so many ways, not to mention they offer a haven to birds.”
Indeed, one of our blogs a few months ago reported on another study regarding the benefits of birdsongs to humans. It said, “depending on the particular birdsong and its type and frequency, the sound of birds can actually help one feel better and react more positively to life — offering restoration from stress and cognitive fatigue.”
Even a small waterfall and/or pond is a perfect place for birds to refresh themselves and have a drink.
Ponds, Pool, and Green Space
This project (left) was actually 3 bodies of water if you include the swimming pool. Our client wanted 2 ponds, one for fish only, and one for water garden plants.
What happened was surprising. The lower pond was the fish pond (it made sense, because the fish might swim down stream into the lower pond if it were the other way around).
“However we were shocked when the client called and told us that the fish were jumping over the waterfall stone and swimming up stream and into the upper pond. I guess you can’t beat mother nature,” says Dave.
This project shows the opposite of our first example above. This property is not sloped at all, which shows it’s not necessary to have a yard with a slope to plan a beautiful water garden. Not to mention, a flat property allows for lots of green space for play.
“It’s all about scale and proportion to achieve a serene vista,” says Dave. “And of course, utility. We were able to leave lots of green play space as well. It’s great when you can plan the landscape for both children and adults.”