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4.1.

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The importance of healthy outdoor environments
for individual physical and emotional wellbeing,
and for the future of society

Importance for
individuals
Healthy outdoor environments are
important because they allow
individuals to participate in pursuits
that contribute to their mental health
and general physical and social well
being.
Healthy outdoor environments serve
three key functions in that they
provide individuals with places for
recreation and adventure, places for
inspiration and places for education.

Recreation and
Adventure
We need places for recreation, and
things to challenge our senses.
Grampians National Park is a healthy
outdoor environment that provides
opportunities for many different types
of recreation from passive (painting,
bird watching) to active and challenging
(rock climbing, mountain bike riding).
These environments provide
opportunities for individuals to escape
the pressures of everyday life.

Recreation and
Adventure
Individuals need healthy outdoor
environments as a place to undertake
challenging activities and achieve goals
through positive risk-taking behaviours.
Social activities such as picnics, camping,
bushwalking and skiing all contribute to
individual development and rely on
healthy outdoor environments for their
sustainability.
A flow on effect to society of these activities
is the creation of employment in a number
of industries.

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Healthy Natural environments are
important to individuals for
recreation and adventure. They
provide people with a place to
exercise and to pursue physical
challenges away from the stresses
of everyday life. I am able to visit
places such as Grampians NP and
participating in activities such as
camping and bushwalking. These
ensure that I am active and help
me to be healthy.

Inspiration and
Creativity

Artists, musicians and writers have all interacted


with our outdoor environments and used them for
inspiration.

Examples include Banjo Patterson, Xavier Rudd,


John Butler Midnight Oil and artists such as
Fredrick McCubbin and Tom Roberts. All these
people used their experiences in outdoor
environments to produce works that have affected
our lives in some way.

Even visiting an outdoor environment personally


and taking a photograph affects each of us in some
way. If you use that photograph of the environment
and display it for others to see through email,
school album or a Facebook post then you have
been inspired in a creative way by the outdoor
environment.

Inspiration and
Creativity
Even visiting an outdoor environment personally and
taking a photograph affects each of us in some way. If you
use that photograph of the environment and display it for
others to see through email, school album or a Facebook
post then you have been inspired in a creative way by the
outdoor environment.

Example
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Healthy natural environments provide me


with the opportunity to gain inspiration and
creativity. They provide me with the
opportunity to develop skills in hobbies that I
have, such as photography.

Education
Many opportunities exist for
individuals to use outdoor
environments for education.
These can occur directly
through school or group trips
that may have a specific study
goal or through personal
development that occurs from
undertaking recreational
activities in outdoor
environments.

Education
People want to learn about outdoor environments. This is
reflected in the increase in implementation of school
subjects like Outdoor and Environmental studies and
Environmental Science. National Park operators are
successfully improving visitor education centres due to
demand from the public, also operating school specific
education programs.

Identify,
Explain, R
elate, Exa
mple
They provide me with interesting places to holiday/visit,
they provide me with the opportunity to learn about
other cultures and natural environments. Whilst in the
Grampians we participated in a guided tour around the
Fyanns creek area that provided me with the
opportunity to learn about aboriginal culture and
customs and how they have lived as part of the natural
environment.

Other examples
R&R
Healthy Natural environments provide me with a place to rest
and relax. I can escape to a place of solitude and use this to
refresh my mind. Baxter park on the Mornington Peninsula is a
place that I visit to get some R&R, I am able to rest and relax
which helps with my emotional well being.
Provision of food (Use carefully)
Healthy natural environments provide the opportunity to
grow and harvest food. I have used the natural environment of
my backyard to develop my own veggie garden. I have planted
a diverse range of veggies and herbs to use in my cooking.

Importance for
society
Having healthy outdoor environments is crucial to
maintaining human society in the future.
The main factors that healthy environments are
important society are as a Resource, for its Intrinsic
Values, Biodiversity and Scientific Research
The Earths population relies on our outdoor
environments for the production of resources. Food,
Clothing and Shelter are the basic needs of life and the
earth is facing increasing pressure as populations
around the world strive to meet these needs.

Importance for
society
The rapidly growing population of the earth and the
effects of that such as land clearing for food production,
reclaiming wetlands for industrial and residential
development and mining and logging for resources have
caused habitat loss and extinction of many species of
flora and fauna.
It is vital that healthy environments are kept to ensure
that we are able to meet the needs of future generations

Resource
Provides clean water Most of Victorias drinking water comes from
catchment areas in the forest regions. These outdoor environments are
important to trap and filter the water into the river systems free from silt and
other matter.
Provides timber Timber is an important resource for construction and our
forests must remain healthy to be able to provide timber for future generations.
Provides clean food Soils must remain free from pollution and problems of
salinity to be able to provide our food in a sustainable manner.

Resource
Provides minerals Minerals are an important
resource for the economy but mining must be done
in a way that does not damage the rest of the
environment.
Provides electricity Hydro electricity can only
come from the outdoor environment and relies on it
being healthy.
Provides tourism Tourism as an industry relies on
healthy outdoor environments. National Parks, clean
beaches, and quiet peaceful forest areas for retreats
and Eco-resorts are examples of this.

Example
Natural environments are able to be used to provide jobs to
people (such as those that work at Brambuk, Anglesea surf
school and the climbing company at Arapiles), as well as
provide opportunity through economic growth for a range of
business (holiday homes, business etc.). They can also be used
to make money to provide funds to manage natural
environments (Parks Victoria fees).

Task

Complete the table on Page 214 of your text book,


providing at least 3 other resources and all the ways in
which we can use it.

Intrinsic Values
While we tend to view
environments for what they can
offer in terms of resources
environments are unique and
have existed for millions of years
without human interactions. They
exist of their own accord and are
important to society for these
intrinsic values. The creation of
National Parks and World
Heritage listing of specific areas
acknowledges this.
Put simply it is its value to itself!

Intrinsic Values
The intrinsic values recognize that it is important for outdoor
environments to exist for future generations and for the benefit
of the flora and fauna that make up these areas.

Examples
The health of natural environment is important so we
can ensure that all species have the opportunity to
survive. This also ensure that food webs are kept intact
and that other flow on effects dont occur
Healthy natural environments are essential components
in the water cycle and the carbon cycle. For example,
forested slopes are important in water catchment areas,
and vegetation cover generally prevents soil erosion.
Plants also consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen
which is important for animals, including humans.

Biodiversity
Biodiversity is necessary to ensure the sustainability of our
society.
Biodiversity ensures a diverse range of species and ecosystems
are available to meet all the needs of society. Biodiversity
evaluates, depends on and is essential to, healthy outdoor
environments.
Outdoor environments ensure that biodiversity can be
preserved outside human made environments that can result in
a loss of biodiversity.

Biodiversity

Scientific research
Provides a site for us to monitor the changes in our environments Climate
change, salinity, species loss and effects of logging are a few things that our
environment can be used to monitor.
We may find future medicinal sources that may cure diseases. Greater
understanding of natural medicines and new food sources For example,
Tea Tree oil has been found to have many health benefits (read page 216).

Example
Natural environments are the original source of all human
foods. As some foods become scarce the environment is
further explored for alternatives (e.g. deep sea fishing has
developed as other fish supplies have become exhausted).

Task

Read page 219-220 and complete the associated task on


the Grampians (pg 221)