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Green Care WALD
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International Conference on Landscape & Human Health |
Forests, Parks and Green Care
May 17 - 19, 2017, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria

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Since 2014 Green Care Forest represents a focus of the Austrian Research and Training Centre for Forests. In close collaboration with the Green Care Agriculture project we want to support the Austrian agriculture and forestry to face the challenges of the future. Green Care constitutes an additional source of income for farmers in the context of diversification, alongside tourism opportunities. These initiatives provide a wonderful opportunity for our country's agricultural family businesses, from which not only individual customers but also the entire health, education and social system benefits.

Basic requirement

There are manifold opportunities for farmers to participate actively in Green Care projects: Whether by hiring out vacant infrastructure at their farms (using existing premises) and offering agricultural or silvicultural services, or by contributing their pre-existing qualifications as nursery school teachers, occupational health nurses, occupational therapists and/or social workers. As a result, employment at the farm is ensured for the long term and the farming family's quality of life is increased. New sources of income as well as additional job opportunities are created, which in turn result in an improved rural economy and in rural areas being vitalised. Of course, Green Care cannot serve as a panacea for every farm. The Green Care product must be suited to the farming family's business and to their living conditions. Additionally, investments are often necessary before a Green Care product can be offered, for example to ensure disabled access. In every case, the basic requirement for participation in Green Care is that a social contribution of this kind is a matter close to the farmer's heart.

Well-being in woodlands

2014 the focus of Green Care Forest is on Forest-kindergarten, Forest-youth project weeks and educational programs for seniors.
To prove the effects of Forests the Study "Green Public Health - Benefits of Woodlands on Human Health and Well-being" was commissioned. The study was aimed at collecting international scientific literature on the benefits of woodlands on health, well- being, and quality of life of the population. The duration of stac, activities and exercise, as well as the social context may impact well-being in woodlands.

Green Public Health - Benefits of Wooldland on Human Health and Well-being (Study) pdf
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