CapeNature Training

Each year CapeNature hosts an Access Week which supports community visitation to all their nature reserves. This year's Access Week (20 - 27 Sept 2022) was themed around how nature connectedness promotes wellbeing and the role that safe green space can play in providing restorative opportunities for South Africans who are otherwise stuck in the everyday stresses of urban life.

As members of the Masiyembo Association, Jess Tyrrell (NatureAllied Journeys) and Matthew Zylstra (NatureFix) delivered online and in-person training to CapeNature's Stakeholder Engagement Officers to aid them in facilitating meaningful connective experiences for their diverse community groups both during Access Week and into the future.

"Studies repeatedly show that connection with nature has positive outcomes for mental health. If people feel safe, then meaningful moments in nature can help to reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue; improve mood, energy levels, focus, strengthen our immune system and build psycho-social resilience. It even increases life-expectancy," said Dr. Zylstra.

"But it's not only about us. Deeper connections with nature also foster care and concern – in other words it motivates pro-nature and pro-social behaviours. Basically, our neurophysiology evolved with nature so we are wired for this relationship. We seek it out. Nature is not just a 'nice-to-have' bonus - we actually need it more than ever."

CapeNature was very satisfied with the training and deemed the Access Week to be "a huge success", with facilitated engagements including 300 people from 17 groups to access its nature reserves. CapeNature is exploring further opportunities to encourage the public to step out into nature and utilise its beauty and tranquillity to revitalise and restore (read the related CapeNature Press Release and News here)


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