March 20, 2019 | By: Carol Lea Spence

LEXINGTON, Ky., — When journalist and author Florence Williams moved with her outdoor-loving family from Colorado to Washington, D.C., she quickly discovered that urban living can take its toll on a person. Williams subsequently plunged into a two-year search for answers on how the natural world affects people and learned that, yes, being in nature can improve mood and health, but it can also positively alter humans on a biological level.

Williams will speak about her experiences in writing her book, “The Nature Fix: Why nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative,” on the University of Kentucky campus from 6 to 8 p.m. April 3. Sponsored by the Urban Forest Initiative, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, the free event promises to be both enlightening and entertaining, said Mary Arthur, UK professor of forest ecology and Urban Forest Initiative co-lead with forest entomology professor Lynne Rieske-Kinney.

“Florence Williams looks at her subject through visual, auditory and olfactory lenses. Her book is very well researched. She talks to many of the people who are doing research on the elements that are present in nature that may be so valuable to humans and to human function. It’s fascinating,” she said. “I am so excited about her work; I think it’s incredibly and inherently interesting.”

The free seminar will take place in the auditorium of the Jacobs Science Building on the corner of Rose Street and Huguelet Drive. During a reception from 6-7 p.m., guests can purchase “The Nature Fix,” which Williams will be signing. Finger food will be provided, and health and wellness groups and tree and nature organizations will also be on hand with information for interested guests. Williams’s talk will begin at 7 p.m.

The Urban Forest Initiative is a collaborative group of UK academic and Lexington community stakeholders with an active interest in enhancing the urban forest. Their mission is to raise awareness of the ecological, social and economic benefits provided by the urban tree canopy.

“Williams’s work is all part and parcel of why we need trees in cities,” Arthur said. “Unfortunately, at the same time people are becoming more aware of how much we need trees in urban areas, we’re losing much of our canopy to things like old age, too much cement, and diseases and pests like the emerald ash borer. This is an especially critical moment for people to become aware of how important trees are, so we can work together to plant more trees in our cities.”

Convenient, free parking is available in Parking Garage No. 2 located on Hilltop Avenue, which can be accessed from Woodland Avenue or University Drive.

Big Beaver Tree Service, Dave Leonard Tree Specialists, the City of Lexington and Kelly Nursery are contributing sponsors.


Mary Arthur, 859-257-2852

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