People do care about nature. We are ‘hard-wired’ to nature. The scientific term for this connection is called ‘biophilia.’ The term was popularized by the sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson in his 1984 book “Biophylia: The Human Bond With Other Species.” People subconsciously look to maintain a connection with nature and the world around us, specifically plants animals and landscapes.
There are countless stories and we can point to examples in our everyday lives. A recent story in the January-February 2009 issue of the AARP Bulletin highlights this connection. It seems that older adult residents of a Mass. apartment complex were willing to go to battle to save the life of a crab apple tree. “The Shrewsbury Housing Authority, which manages Francis Gardens, a 100 unit complex for older adults, ordered the tree cut down in September so that a dumpster could be relocated. Lee Perone, 74, and Pat Henry, 65, didn’t want the dumpster beneath their windows. Besides, Perrone says, when the tree blooms, ‘It’s the most beautiful thing – pink.’ So the pair roped chairs around the tree and staged a sit-in. Both women received eviction notices. After a local lawyer volunteered to represent them, the housing authority backed down. The tree was saved.”
People do care about nature, regardless of age and we need to be more aware of this fact. We all need to advocate
for strengthening the connection with the natural world. Creating community gardens, walking trails, bike paths and simply places to enjoy nature are so very important.