Street Trees

Street trees reduce depression, according to Science Alert 30 January 2021 and Scientific Reports 31 December 2020 doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79924-5. 

A group of researchers in Germany “analysed the association of street tree density and species richness with antidepressant prescribing for 9751 inhabitants of Leipzig, Germany.  They found for individuals with low socio-economic status, high density of street trees at 100m around the home significantly reduced the probability of being prescribed antidepressants.” 

They went on to conclude: “The study suggests that unintentional daily contact to nature through street trees close to the home may reduce the risk of depression, especially for individuals in deprived groups.” 

Diana Bowler, a population ecologist from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and one of the researcher team, also commented: “Our study shows that everyday nature close to home – the biodiversity you see out of the window or when walking or driving to work, school, or shopping – is important for mental health. This finding is especially relevant now in times of the COVID-19 lockdowns.”

Links: Science Alert, Scientific Reports

Editorial Comment: This fits with much other research into the importance of green spaces with trees in supporting good health, which is no surprise to us since Genesis tells us mankind’s original “very good” home was a beautiful fruitful garden filled with trees.

Access to green spaces and trees has become a real issue in these days of lockdowns with its associated stress and depression, especially in dense urban communities.  We agree that providing trees will help people in lockdown and other restrictions, but to really protect people from stress, depression and despair they need the hope which can only come from good news of a salvation in Christ.  We encourage churches and individual Christians to find creative ways of sharing good things from God’s good creation along with God’s Good News with those in quarantine, lockdown or affected by changes brought about by restrictions in their local areas. 

Creation Research News 10 February 2021

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