Image of three students sitting together underneath the shade of heritage oaks in the UC Davis Arboretum.

What is Nature Rx? 

Do you have a Nature Prescription?

Image of nature prescription card with image of bridge in natural area on campus in the UC Davis Arboretum, the text Nature Rx a nature prescription for your health and well-being, a QR code and wordmarks for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, Healthy UC Davis, UC Davis student health and counseling services.

As part of a holistic healthcare regimen, UC Davis students may now be prescribed nature. But, you don't have to have a prescription to take advantage of the benefits of being outside.

Get started here!

Nature Rx is about fulfilling a prescription (Rx) for better physical, mental and social lives, just by enjoying your outdoor environment, a benefit we have in abundance of here at UC Davis! Within our Nature Rx webpages, we share with our community the many ways you can take advantage of the resources — both digital and physical — provided by the Arboretum and Public Garden and other campus departments. Discover a new nature nook, engage with your environment and yourself, begin your journey of understanding the importance of nature and its impact on your health!

Research that Supports Nature Rx

Image from USDA report cover on urban nature for human health and well-being.

In 2018 the USDA produced the report on Urban Nature for Human Health and Well-being, a research summary for communicating the health benefits for urban trees and green space.

Download it here!

How are you feeling? Whether you are feeling good and want to keep it that way or experiencing discomfort, studies show that:

  • People living near parks and green space experience less mental distress, are more physically active, and have extended life spans. 
  • Exposure to nature may decrease human mortality from chronic disease. 
  • When people exercise outdoors in natural environments, they do so for longer periods of time and at greater intensities.
  • Positive health effects are enhanced when green space includes the presence of water, or blue space.

(Source: Urban Nature for Human Health and Well-Being, United States Department of Agriculture).

Nature Rx Resources

The UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden provides multiple resources for enjoying nature on the UC Davis campus, at home and online. In addition, our leadership in this area is recognized nationally. Browse these resources to learn more, then get outside, explore and begin to harness the power of our outdoor environments as a source of hope, comfort, healing and well-being especially during stressful times. That's what Nature Rx is all about. 

On Campus

Shields Oak Grove

Our campus is filled with inspiring opportunities to take advantage of the mental health and well-being benefits of Nature Rx.

Learn more

At Home

Image of Ria diGrassi reading outside in her backyard.

Take advantage of the mental health and well-being effects of nature right outside your door with these inspirational Nature Rx resources.

Learn more


Image of person taking photos flowers with a phone.

There are also ways to learn more about and engage with nature online! Check out activities that allow you to connect virtually.

Learn more


Image of students laying on the grass in a circle.

Learn more about our leadership supporting and promoting the health and well-being benefits of nature. 

Learn more