Green Rx

Trees are integral to our health. People who live near trees report better general health and fewer health complaints.

Green Prescription: The Study

Project Summary

The objective of this innovative project was to conduct original research, using combined urban greening and health data, to determine the association between the extent of urban greening, which is expressed primarily as canopy cover, and major health behaviors and outcomes in the six-county Sacramento region of California.

During the course of this project, tested two main hypotheses:

1.  Health behaviors/health outcomes and urban greening are statistically related, with more urban greening being better for health and supportive of healthy behaviors; and

2.  Certain health behaviors and health outcomes are more positively influenced by the presence of urban greening than others.

Project Outcomes

The deliverables for the project included:

  • Literature Synthesis of the current research.
  • Findings summary report.
  • Professional research report describing the project, the results, conclusions and recommendations for action. This report will be prepared for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Policy brief(s) which will be targeted to decision-makers and those who influence the continued convergence of public health and urban greening. The purpose of this report will be to describe the project and results briefly and translate the results to practical design guidelines so that communities can more effectively plan, plant, and manage city trees to achieve maximum health benefits
  • Interactive website which will visually depict the association between the extent of urban greening and health behaviors and outcomes by zip code in the Sacramento region.
  • Various educational and presentation tools to share the results of the project.

Expert Advisory Committee

A nationally represented expert advisory committee of public health, urban forestry, urban planning and design, and built environment professionals were active participants providing regular feedback and insight into the development of the study.

Expert Advisory
Committee Members:

Desirée Backman, DrPH, MS, RD -- Chair

Teri Duarte, MPH

Greg McPherson, PhD

Dee Merriam, FASLA

Mary E Northridge, PhD, MPH

Shannon Ramsey

Aimee Sisson

Ray Tretheway

Glennah Trochet, MD 

Robert Waste, PhD

Kathy Wolf, PhD

Research Project Lead:

Jared Ulmer, AICP, MPH. 

Grant Project Lead:

Cindy Blain