Log Number: ARPML-250724-OMLS-22
The Discovery Museum in Acton, Massachusetts, will develop educational resources and outdoor programs to raise awareness of the short- and long-term mental health benefits of connecting with nature. While people of all ages and backgrounds have experienced heightened anxiety and depression as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, children and parents—Discovery Museum's core audience—are among the hardest hit populations, according to both state and national data. Working with community organizations that provide clinical and other services to families, the museum will develop learning experiences to increase participants' knowledge about the ways in which being outdoors can decrease stress and anxiety and boost mood. The museum will provide free memberships to families with financial needs and develop nature-based learning experiences to support families who have children with disabilities. This project will build the museum's capacity to provide nature-focused experiences to all visitors through new staffing, programs, and partnerships.