Trees are Essential – Growing Human Health and Equity

Studies have shown higher green cover levels to be associated with numerous beneficial health outcomes. Dr. Ming Kuo, will present the result of research that sought to determine if residential green cover was associated with direct health care costs. Dr. Kuo and her associates studied data from over 5 million members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), looking at health care costs for 2013 – 2017. Using satellite data, and adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic and environmental factors, they examined the association between direct health care costs and green cover within 250, 500, and 1000 meters (m) of an individual’s residence. Watch the webinar above to hear the findings.

A message from Dr. Kuo to webinar participants

Dear “Trees are Essential: Growing Health and Equity” CaUFC webinar attendees:

Thanks again for coming to my presentation and for your patience during the technological glitches! I promised you a packet of resources on outdoor lessons during COVID. There are actually an overwhelming number of resources out there but here is a severely curated selection to get you started. None are behind a paywall:

“It is time to pivot toward teaching and learning in outdoor environments.”

A new position statement developed by a group of experienced educators and scholars with recommendations on re-opening schools during the pandemic. It includes links to evidence on outdoor learning.

To specifically address the concern that students will be LESS engaged and more distracted, here are the study I mentioned and another study showing the same for students with emotional, social, or cognitive disabilities:

On holding open-air lessons during an unforgiving New England winter: “…a success by nearly every measure — none of the children got sick.” This provides historical precedent. It may not seem like it but I think this is actually a practical resource in that it has the potential help change school administrators minds about what “school” has to look like. It addresses cold weather concerns.

For folks interested in pedagogical theory. This is not a practical resource! “Radical education ideas from the 1960s and ’70s can help us safely teach children during a pandemic.


Ming Kuo

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