A DESIGN FOR NATURE RX ON THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CAMPUS
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There has been a rising trend of mental health issues among college students. Studies have shown that time spent engaged in nature activities such as forest bathing can improve physical and mental health. Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, originated in Japan and is the practice of walking through the forest and processing all of its elements through sensory observation. As a designated arboretum, the University of Maryland (UMD) College Park campus possesses an untapped resource that can increase greenspace exposure for UMD students and open the doors to forest bathing opportunities. Through a literature review and site inventory and analysis, I have developed a design that centers around forest bathing practices and infuses the principles of Nature Rx@UMD, an initiative that prioritizes the natural environmental benefits of UMD campus. The Campus Creek Nature Rx@UMD site invites users to slow down, notice elements of the forest for mindful awareness and be restored.