Thursday, August 30, 2012

Can we "green" our way to safer communities?

Newark Youth Court members giving back to their community

Community courts like Newark Community Solutions and the Red Hook Community Justice Center lean heavily on community service to help offenders undue the harm they've done. But community courts also build civic pride by inviting adult and youth volunteers to join our community cleanup and beautification activities as well. But are there other benefits?  In a new study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, suggests interesting answers to that question. Researchers found that vacant lot greening was associated with residents’ reporting less stress and more exercise in select sections of the city. The study also suggests that once greened, vacant lots may reduce certain crimes and promote some aspects of health.

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