NatureRx is a grassroots movement building upon the growing body of research showing that time spent in nature has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. The Earth Commons has teamed up with campus mental health initiatives to share resources that encourage individuals in the Georgetown community to pursue their own NatureRx—here on campus, nearby in DC, and practices you can use anywhere in the world.

How it Works

Nature has the power to transform mental health. Caring for your mental health is important for everyone, particularly for college students facing the challenges of newfound independence and high-stress environments. Whether you prefer immersing yourself in the great outdoors or simply enjoying serene photos and videos of natural beauty, here’s how it works:

Stress reduction

Helps calm and reduce psychological stress, allowing you to unwind and alleviate anxiety

Mood Enhancement

Improves mood, leading to increased happiness and overall well-being

Better Sleep

Linked to improved sleep quality, ensuring a restful night’s sleep

Physical Health

Lowers cortisol levels and blood pressure, leading to better cardiovascular health and stress management


Boosts cognitive functioning, improving focus and concentration

Emotional Regulation

Helps you to cope with life’s challenges

Why it’s important

Numerous studies have revealed a profound connection between exposure to nature and improved mental well-being. That’s important considering a survey conducted by the American College Health Association in the spring of 2022, a staggering 77% of undergraduate students across the nation reported experiencing moderate to severe psychological distress.

Turning Research into Reality

In 2013, a dedicated group of doctors partnered with the National Parks Service in Washington DC to translate the research on nature’s mental health benefits into a tangible program. This initiative empowered healthcare and social service providers to prescribe time in nature to promote well-being, effectively connecting patients with parks.

The program’s success has spread to universities nationwide, including Cornell, William and Mary, and UC Davis, making nature-based mental health solutions accessible to students and communities across the country.

Join us in the Hoya Harvest Garden

Join the Georgetown community in the Earth Commons’ Hoya Harvest Garden as we get outdoors, grow food, learn about sustainable practices and unwind together.

Explore Mental Health and Wellness Resources at Georgetown

Campus Ministry

Speak one-on-one with a Chaplain or Jesuit In Residence no matter your personal faith

Learn more

Campus Recreation

Campus Recreation offers comprehensive recreational, fitness, and wellness programming to serve the university community.

Learn more

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)

Work directly with mental healthcare professionals to help you overcome psychological, emotional, and cognitive barriers

Learn more

Outdoor Education

Go on excursions, trips, hikes, and more whilebuilding a community and compassion for the environment

Learn more

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center (SHC) is staffed by primary care physicians and nurse practitioners with particular interest and experience in college health.  We are dedicated to providing high quality health care to the students of Georgetown University.

Learn more

Student Outreach & Support (SOS)

SOS works with colleagues across campus to organize outreach and follow-up care to students who are experiencing crisis or distress that impacts their social, personal, and/or academic stability.

Learn more


Access mental health professionals 24/7/365 through online video or voice visits. TalkNow for on-demand mental health communication, schedule counseling appointments, get psychiatry services with a CAPS referral, and connect with others online through their the support network

Learn more

Join a green student group

With a commitment to the Georgetown core value of caring for our common home, we encourage Georgetown students to engage in action for the environment. The following is a list of student groups with an environmental or sustainability focus.

Campus Green Space Map

This map features on and off-campus parks, outdoor trails, and other green spaces where students can exercise, relax, study, and more.
For accessibility information, please see this list.
For fullscreen, please view here.

Explore Further

Want to delve deeper into the fascinating research on the connection between mental health and nature? Check out these studies and resources:

Sign up for updates

Get the latest on the Hoya Harvest Garden as well as volunteer opportunities. Sign up to receive updates on future volunteer opportunities, veggie-giveaways, and all things Hoya Harvest. We will also keep you updated on Earth Common’s news.