Nature Heals New York City - City Parks Foundation


The last few years, New York City has been through a lot—and it’s taken a toll on us all. Stress, anxiety, and depression are on the rise. And 1 in 5 New Yorkers are experiencing some form of mental illness.


Now, more than ever, our city needs to heal. Luckily, we have something so incredible, it has the power to ease our minds and improve our mental health— it’s our local parks.


This Mental Health Awareness Week (Oct 2-8), let’s find a few moments to get outside and do our part to share an important message: #NatureHealsNYC

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Nature is truly amazing. Green spaces help purify the air we breathe and reduce the effects of climate change. But did you know all the ways nature can also improve your mental health?


Research has shown that spending time in a green space like your local park can:





Start each morning with a healing moment in nature and stop by your local park.

A map of New York City with green circle icons over parks throughout the city.


New York City may have the densest population of any US city. But hidden behind our city’s hustle and bustle, there are:


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More than 30,000 acres of parkland—that’s about 14% of New York City
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More than 5,000 individual parks and playgrounds across the 5 boroughs
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Over 100 scenic trails to hike through and get a new view of the city
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About 5 million trees to hug across our parks


There’s free healing right outside your doors. Get out to your local park today.


Need Help Finding a Park?


Use this park finder to help locate a green space near you.



Help Us Spread the Word

Nature is good for your mental well-being!

Share a tree hug

A smart phone screen featuring a smiling young white man using an Instagram filter. It shows an illustrated tree graphic hugging the figure.Post your Tree Hug using our new Instagram filter and show New Yorkers that #NatureHealsNYC


Give Back to Our City Parks

With the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers relied more on parks than ever before. Overnight, people needed more space for exercise, fresh air, socializing, and mental well-being. While park usage increased, private and public funding to maintain our city’s green spaces have continued to dry up.


To address this issue, more than 20 open space focused organizations came together to form the Parks and Open Spaces Partners – NYC coalition. This coalition works as a support network to local parks—sharing insights and resources to advance New York City’s public spaces.


Since the Parks and Open Space Partners – NYC coalition formed, it has boosted awareness of the fundraising challenges facing our parks, leading to the creation of the NYC Green Relief and Recovery Fund. Today, the coalition continues our push to support green spaces and help heal our city. #NatureHealsNYC


Donate to support the NYC Green Fund—a pooled fund that funds stewardship organizations to help keep our parks and open spaces clean and green.


The Parks and Open Space Partners – NYC coalition includes but is not limited to:




References: 1. Joni Sweet. Very Well Mind. Updated November 23, 2020. Nature can Improve Mental Health During the Pandemic, Study Finds. 2. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NYC HANES 2013–2014); public use dataset accessed September 2019. 3. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. N.d. Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health. Accessed July 7, 2022. 4. American Heart Association – Heart Attack and Stroke Symptoms. N.d. Spend Time in Nature to Reduce Stress and Anxiety. Accessed July 7, 2022. 5. Tacy Lambiase. American Forests – U.S. Forest Service. Published April 19, 2013. Nature Heals. Accessed July 5, 2022. 6. Andre Claudio. Route-Fifty. Published January 12, 2022. Interacting With Nature in Cities Can Reduce Loneliness. Accessed July 5, 2022.




Contribute by making a donation to the NYC Green Fund—a pooled fund created to support organizations that help keep our parks and open spaces clean and green.

More than ever before, New Yorkers have come to rely on parks and open spaces, the most fundamentally democratic and accessible of public resources. Offering fresh air and recreation and helping to improve our mental well-being—parks and open spaces are crucial to New York’s equitable economic recovery and environmental resilience.

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