Give yourself the gift of good health by getting outdoors in a park near you on National Park Rx Day on April 24, 2016. Sunday, April 24, 2016 will be the first ever National Park Rx Day! It is a day celebrated across the United States to promote the growing movement of prescribing parks and nature to patients to improve human health. National Park Rx Day encourages everyone to see visits to parks and public lands as very important parts of their health. Last fall, the U.S. Surgeon General released a call to action to promote walking and walkable communities. National Park Rx Day builds on this call to action and provides citizens with parks and green spaces to promote public health.
Park Rx Day is April 24, 2016
Goals of National Park Rx Day
- To amplify the visibility and viability of the nation-wide Park Rx movement in parks and communities across the nation.
- To celebrate existing Park Rx programs and practitioners across the country.
- To serve as a catalyst to bring together local health providers, park agencies, community leaders, and nonprofits to begin dialogue and momentum to develop their own Park Rx programs for improvement of their communities.
- To increase the relevance of parks for all people;how people can connect with parks daily for their improved physical, mental and emotional, and spiritual health and create a new generation of park stewards.
- Being in nature can improve your mood.
- Having access to parks can increase physical activity and combat obesity.
- Parks and their health benefits can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of who you are and where you come from.
- Contact with nature through parks improves all people's physical, mental and spiritual health.
- Parks foster social connections which are vital to community cohesion and contribute to social well-being.
- For children, parks foster active play, which is associated with physical, cognitive and social benefits.
- For adolescents, parks improve mental and social health during what is often a challenging time of life.
- Park use is linked to physical and mental health benefits among adults, especially older adults.
There are more than 400 national parks across the country. Give yourself the gift of better health by enjoying time in a park near you. Here's a sampling of fun ways you can connect to nature for your health:
- Join a ranger for a nature walk along the ¾ mile Prairie Circle Trail at Pipestone National Monument, around Spanish Pond at Timicuan Ecological Park and Preserve, or a battlefield hike at Antietam National Battlefield.
- Enjoy an "I speak for the Trees Walk" or a "Junior Ranger Discovery Walk" at Joshua Tree National Park.
- Celebrate Spring in Appalachia at the twelfth Annual Wildflower Weekend at New River Gorge National River or a ranger-led wildflower walk at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Take part in a "Poetry Walk" at Olympic National Park.
- Journey through Cuyahoga Valley National Park by train and then hike back on the 7.5 mile Buckeye Trail.
- Take in a morning stroll and a bird walk along Sandy Creek in Pinnacles National Park.