Improving Wellbeing and Environmental Stewardship Through Volunteering in Nature

Abstract

Environmental volunteering (EV) can provide a unique way to optimise the wellbeing of participants while fostering environmental stewardship. However, the potential of EV to create human health benefits remains an under-researched area. This study provides evidence for improved wellbeing and mood state for 32 participants from diverse backgrounds undertaking EV activities. Most participants also reported improved environmental stewardship with a greatly improved understanding of the environment and the need to conserve it. Other benefits included: 31% of those seeking work obtained it; and 50% joined a volunteer group at program completion. EV provides a unique mechanism to enhance the wellbeing of the participants, while conserving the environment.

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Acknowledgments

This Project was funded by a State Natural Resource Management community Grant and Building Skills in the Region Grant with in-kind support from Natural Resources KI, KI Health Service, Regional Development Australia, Junction Australia, Eco-action KI and Finding Workable Solutions. We thank the participants and the Project working group that facilitated the Project.

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Correspondence to Robyn Molsher.

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Molsher, R., Townsend, M. Improving Wellbeing and Environmental Stewardship Through Volunteering in Nature. EcoHealth 13, 151–155 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-015-1089-1

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Keywords

  • environmental
  • volunteering
  • nature
  • wellbeing