Major Findings

Our study of nearly 12,000 American adults, children, and parents distills down to eight major findings and 22 recommendations.

Kids playing in dirt in a backyard

Foundational to these recommendations is the core premise that connection to nature is not a dispensable amenity but, rather, is essential to the quality of life, health, social well-being, prosperity, and productivity of all Americans. Put a different way, the conservation of species, the protection and restoration of habitats, and the provision of healthy streams and clean air are closely linked to human flourishing. A thriving natural environment helps Americans live happier, healthier lives. It helps children develop socially, psychologically, and physically. It creates places where Americans want to live, work, and flourish.

Connecting Americans and nature must be a vibrant, ongoing effort supported by all members of the public. The state of the natural world and our place within it cannot afford for us to act slowly. We must act now to ensure that present and future generations are connected with nature.

Image of woman looking out window at sunset

Americans face a significant gap between their interests in nature and their efforts, abilities, and opportunities to pursue those interests in their lives

About the interest-action gap

People walking outside together

Experiences in nature are deeply social

Our social nature

Boy climbing tree

Adults and children differ in where they locate unforgettable, authentic nature

What is real nature?

Girl listens to the heartbeat of bird with a naturalist/educator

Access to nature is as much about the quality of places as their quantity

Quality counts

Senior couple walking with dog in the countryside

Americans value nature in remarkably broad, diverse ways

How people value nature

Research - measuring a coyote pup

Americans support nature-related programming, funding, and conservation

Support for nature

Girl kissing snake

Americans’ relationship with nature is complex and nuanced

Our relationship with nature? Well … it's complicated

Young girl blackberry hunting

Americans perceive tremendous benefit from experiences in nature

Physical health, emotional outlook, and more