Nearby nature reduces stress in children
One study, reported in 2003, by Cornell assistant professor Nancy Wells, focuses on rural children and finds that even a view of nature — green plants and vistas —helps reduce stress among highly stressed children. Further, the more plants, green views and access to natural play areas, the more positive the results.
Access to outdoor playground equipment placed into a natural green setting is beneficial for a child’s mental health as well as their physical and emotional development.
Wells, N.M., and Evans, G.W. “Nearby Nature: A Buffer of Life Stress Among Rural Children.” Environment and Behavior. Vol. 35:3, 311-330. This study is not available online without purchase; http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journals/details/j0163.html (Volume 1)