LTE: Now is the time to reconnect with nature

To the Editor:

Science tells us that walking in nature has huge benefits to both our physical and to our mental and psychological health, putting us back in touch with our elemental selves. Circumstances have restricted our “normal,” frenzied daily lives for the time being, to be sure, but what is taken from us on the one hand can be given back to us on the other. Now is a great time to turn this situation on its head and take the opportunity to get out and bathe in the world around us.

The social distance mandates we are now living through have resulted in a number of consequences for our daily lives. We are much more likely to be in our homes rather than driving around in cars and spending time in hermetically sealed office buildings. This fact of life provides a serendipitous and unprecedented opportunity for us to get out and enjoy the nature around us.  Needing to “get out of the house”, we can rewardingly do just that by using our own feet.

There is no better time for us to be outside, free from transmitted droplets from other humans, and bathed in the positive surroundings of forests and the outdoor environment. Hopewell Township and the surrounding areas are rich with great trails and outstanding places to walk in nature. As a Board Member of the Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space, I can point our residents to the many beautiful trails on FOHVOS properties (visit, and the many trails established by our sister organizations in Mercer and surrounding counties.

Frank Newport
Pennington, NJ
Board Member, Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.


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