Trees, gardens, and grass may be pretty, but did you know they might actually keep you safe, active, and happy as well?
It’s true. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently found that neighborhoods in which blighted, vacant lots have been cleaned and greened report lower crime rates than neighborhoods in which vacant lots have not been improved. The study has been reported on by both The Atlantic and the Philadelphia Inquirer, both of which highlight the efforts of the PHS Philadelphia LandCare program to improve vacant lots citywide.
From the Atlantic article:
Vacant lot greening was associated with significant reductions in gun assaults across all four sections of Philadelphia in the study and with significant reductions in vandalism in one section. Greening was also associated with the reporting of significantly less stress in one of the sections of the city and with more exercise in another. Cholesterol numbers were lower to a statistically significant degree for the greened areas across all four city sections.
The Inquirer also touts the job-creating benefits of greening programs like LandCare, which engages “the landscapers and community groups [in] mowing grass and pruning trees.”
It’s all just one more reason to start a community garden, Plant One Million, and keep supporting PHS‘s goal of making Philly as green (and safe) as it can be. And thanks to the everyone in the Philadelphia Green department for all they do!