Horticulturist Adrienne O'Brien has known for years about the restorative powers of nature.
"When I work outside, it's always a stress reliever," said O'Brien, who works at the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. "If something's bothering me, I can think through it."
University of Michigan scientists recently found that in addition to being relaxing, spending time in nature also can help improve people's memory and attention span. The improvement happens partly because paying attention to nature is involuntary, said Marc Berman, lead author of a paper on the research.