Our Work
Two cousins enjoying Your Park, Your Health’s August 2012 Let’s Go Kayaking event.

Two cousins enjoying Your Park, Your Health's August 2012 Let's Go Kayaking event.

 

“It is essential that parents, educators, and pediatricians recognize the importance of lifelong benefits that children gain from play ...Spending time in nature, surrounded by dirt, trees, grass, rocks, flowers, and insects inspires children’s play and offers physical and emotional benefits.”
~The American Academy of Pediatrics, January 2012

 
Healthy Foods
Healthy Foods Logo Good nutrition is vital to good health. The National Park Service understands the importance of providing healthy, sustainable and affordable food and beverage options for park visitors.

Healthy food and beverage environments include the production, preparation, service and vending of foods, as well as policies and programs that support these efforts.

The National Park Service serves more than 23.5 million customers each year at over 250 food and beverage operations operated by concessioners in 75 parks.

The National Park Service's Healthy and Sustainable Food Program provides standards, guidelines, tools, and resources for parks and concessioners to help ensure these visitors have healthy food options and that the Service uses sustainable food sourcing and service practices to reduce its environmental footprint. The Healthy and Sustainable Food Program is a result of a collaborative effort by concession companies, the National Park Service, and food industry and government experts. The program builds on efforts already underway by concessioners in many parks.
 
Healthy Recreation
Healthy Recreation Logo Let's Go Out in the Park Today! - Healthy Parks Healthy People advances the fact that all parks - urban and wildland are cornerstones of people’s mental, physical, and spiritual health, and social well-being and sustainability of the planet.

The landscapes of our parks provide a continuum between “wild” nature and designed environments that provide opportunities for contact with nature and associated health benefits. Examples of health promoting park environments include cultural landscapes, soundscapes, starry skies, clean air, lakes, rivers and trails. Interaction with these park environments can result in positive physical, mental, and social health benefits for visitors.
 
Healthy Habitats
Healthy Habits Logo Healthy Parks Healthy People recognizes the diverse economic, social, and environmental benefits of park health resources, which collectively contribute to people’s health and well-being, and sustainability of the planet.

Healthy Habitats are natural and built environments that support healthy ecosystems and promote sustainability of the planet. These resources - that nurture, sustain, and inspire us - are now becoming better valued and understood for their collective benefits as park health resources.

Healthy Habitats - for all species, provide the clean water, clean air, food, and shelter necessary to sustain life, and help regulate disease, fire, floods, and climate change.
 
Healthy People
Healthy People Logo As the Healthy Parks Healthy People movement continues to grow, people from all walks of life, and diverse backgrounds, in urban and rural settings and developed and developing countries all across the globe are embracing the fact that parks are cornerstones of their health and well-being, and sustainability of the planet.

Healthy Parks Healthy People sets a vision and a course for the future that is grounded in understanding and respecting the interdependencies of human health, eco-system health, and the sustainability of the planet.  The National Park Service’s Healthy Parks Healthy People program assists in re-framing population health with respect to these interdependencies and is aligned with goals of the Health and Human Service’s Healthy People 2020 and National Prevention Strategy to advance an overarching goal to “increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every state of life.
 
Healthy Partnerships
Across the nation parks can be key components in efforts to support the health and well-being of the nation’s citizenry. Research is increasingly showing the benefits of parks to support physical, emotional, and psychological wellness. Innovation and creativity are at work to develop programs and partnerships which will make a lasting difference in the health of people, communities, and parks.

Within the National Park Service partnerships are being established with health and medical organizations in support of a broad spectrum of health promotion strategies, actions, and practices. Currently, these include initiatives with both large and small medical providers, insurance companies, university medical schools, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
 
Healthy Science
Healhty Science Logo The NPS Healthy Parks Healthy People Science Plan was developed with the engagement of academic researchers, health professionals, and federal scientists. It provides a framework and research agenda necessary to advance society's recognition of the role of parks and protected areas in contributing to the nation's health.

Park health resources, as defined by this plan, are programs, facilities, and environments (natural and cultural) that when used by visitors can provide demonstrable and often distinctive physical, mental, and social health benefits.