Indoor lawns help students handle stress

Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

ITHACA, N.Y., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Grass lawns brought indoors are helping students at Cornell University in New York deal with the stress of final exams, school officials said.

The school's Department of Design and Environmental Analysis has used sections of turf to creating grassy oases of calm in the lobbies of two libraries as well as two science buildings on campus, a university release reported Wednesday.

"Being in touch with nature helps people be calmer, and they feel refreshed and productive," school Administrator Eveline Ferretti said.

The first indoor lawn was installed in the school's Mann Library in the fall.

"The library is the perfect place for it," Ferretti said, noting "it's great to see people willing to lay down in the grass and just relax there. The main goal is really to make people happy."

Marcia Eames-Sheavly, director of the Garden-Based Learning program, said she understands the calming allure of grass.

"We know from research that time spent in nature fosters diverse facets of our well-being, from cognitive function, to lower stress levels. [Indoor lawns] are easy to create, and do not require elaborate materials."

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