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University of Connecticut study shows a "renewed appreciation of nature" during the pandemic

Joshua Joseph

A study from the University of Connecticut last month showed the COVID-19 pandemic changed how people viewed their participation in outdoor activities, and how they shared their experience across social media.

Doctor Sohyun Park, an assistant professor in UConn's College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, said the study found that people experienced what they called a "renewed appreciation of nature" in the early stages of the pandemic.

Park also found a large increase in people using their Twitter accounts about exploring nature and having spiritual experiences during the pandemic.

The study included a collection of over 73,000 tweets that took place between March 13 and May 12 in each year from 2016 to 2019. They were compared to tweets during that two-month period in 2020.

Park added the study showed residents enjoyed going to public parks in urban areas to get up close with animals and wildlife.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.