The benefits of nature contact as therapy are well documented, including contemplative, recreational, and hands-on habitat restoration activities. Though not yet on the radar screen of policy makers, veterans and veterans support groups have initiated nature-based programs focused on hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation and restoration activities. Examples include Wounded Warriors in Action and Project Healing Waters. Testimony from participants indicates the programs powerful impacts on vets. Although research projects have focused on reintegrating vets, a recent literature review revealed only one study of the impact of an outdoor program on veterans, the results of which were inconclusive. Further, despite the rapid emergence of nature-based programs for vets across the US, little information on how officials view such efforts exists. The Returning Warriors Outdoor Recreation, Restoration and Resilience study (REWORRs) is researching the importance of human-nature interactions in outdoor recreation and restoration activities among returning war veterans to account for how these interactions relate to individual, community, and social-ecological resilience.
Visit the REWORRRs blog here.