Giving Compass' Take:

• According to new research from the University of Louisville (detailed via Children & Nature Network), individuals living in neighborhoods with more green areas are less likely to die from heart disease and strokes.

• How does nature influence human health? What can funders do to promote more outdoor spaces in communities?

· Learn how time in nature helps with mental and emotional health

In this study, the first of its kind, researchers from the University of Louisville investigated the impact of neighborhood greenspaces on individual-level markers of stress and cardiovascular disease risk.

Over five-years, blood and urine samples were collected from 408 people of varying ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic levels, then assessed for biomarkers of blood vessel injury and the risk of having cardiovascular disease. Risk was calculated using biomarkers measured from blood and urine samples. The participants were recruited from the University of Louisville's outpatient cardiology clinic and were largely at elevated risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

The density of the greenspaces near the participants' residences were measured using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a tool that indicates levels of vegetation density created from satellite imagery collected by NASA and USGS. Air pollution levels were also assessed using particulate matter from the EPA and roadway exposure measurements.

Read the full article about neighborhood green spaces by Jenette Restivo at the Children & Nature Network.