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KURIAL: (Not) seeing green in our indoor public spaces

Plants and flowers are good for human health, so let’s see some more of them when we’re stuck inside
The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center’s indoor gardens in Nashville. (Allan Grey Flickr photo)

Prince Rupert’s outdoor recreation opportunities are renowned for the natural beauty around us. We have some of the most pristine trails, forests and ocean views in the world.

And this is a good thing. It’s been shown that natural beauty provides a boost to mental and emotional well-being.

But, there are many days in Prince Rupert where the opportunity to go outside for extended periods of time is not always an option. Torrential rain can make traversing many of our outside rec areas treacherous, if not impossible for those with reduced mobility or injuries. There are many efforts being made, particularly by the Kaien Trails Society, to make our trail system more accessible. This is great work, but it can only go so far. What then, are the options to experience nature when it rains for days at a time?

READ MORE: New plant shop sprouts in downtown Prince Rupert

In cases like this people who want to go out end up staying indoors, in covered public locations where there is a troubling lack of greenery. A walk through either mall in Prince Rupert shows off a bevy of unused space where plants could be hung or placed. The Civic Centre has many beautiful trophy cases, but far less beauty of the natural variety. It would surely not harm some of our restaurants to stick some plants in the corner.

Who could object to creating a happier and more serene populace?

These public spaces do not have to become the Hanging Gardens of Babylon overnight, they don’t even necessarily all have to be real plants. But an effort to add some flowers and greenery would go a long way to lift the spirits of those seeking shelter on a rainy day. I need only look up from my desk here at the Northern View to see that a lush green space is possible. Operators of these public spaces should come and drop in to the office sometime if they ever fancy some ideas.

READ MORE: COCULLO: Mental illness is not the new normal

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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