Park Prescriptions Day

People joined with parks, communities, and healthcare providers across the country to celebrate the 2nd National Park Prescriptions Day on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

Park prescriptions is founded on the idea that parks can be gateways to good health—providing fun, accessible places to get some physical activity and to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. Learn more about Park Rx and check back for ways to join the fun in 2018.

Drawing showing people performing outdoor activities

What is Park Rx Day?

Park Rx Day is a day for people everywhere to give themselves the gift of good health, with a walk in the park, and to celebrate the growing Park Rx movement that has doctors prescribing time in parks to their patients to improve their health.

Park Rx Day aligns with the U.S. Surgeon General’s Step It Up! Campaign by promoting walking outside in parks and creating walkable communities to improve people’s health.

Interested in joining the movement? Host your own Park Rx Day celebration (PDF)!
Eight reasons to get outdoors and enjoy a walk in the park on Park Rx Day!
  1. Being in nature can improve your mood.
  2. Having access to parks can increase physical activity and combat obesity.
  3. Parks and their health benefits can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of who you are and where you come from.
  4. Contact with nature through parks improves all people's physical, mental and spiritual health.
  5. Parks foster social connections which are vital to community cohesion and contribute to social well-being.
  6. For children, parks foster active play, which is associated with physical, cognitive and social benefits.
  7. For adolescents, parks improve mental and social health during what is often a challenging time of life.
  8. Park use is linked to physical and mental health benefits among adults, especially older adults.
You can learn even more about how parks are a "go-to resource for healthy living" at the NPS Healthy Parks Healthy People website.

Give yourself the gift of better health, with a walk in the park.

There are more than 400 national parks across the country. Here’s a sampling of fun ways people connected to nature for their health on Park Rx Day:

What was new for Park Rx Day in 2017?

Adults and children marching in a parade
  • Park Rx Day was organized by a consortium of partners across the country with leadership from the National Recreation and Park Association, the National Park Service, and the Institute at the Golden Gate.
    • In 2016, Park Rx Day was organized by the National Park Service.
  • Participation was expected to more than double, with celebrations being expanded to include local, state, and regional parks and public lands. An event in San Francisco alone was expected to draw 3,000 people at Crissy Field at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
    • Last year, Park Rx Day was celebrated in over thirty locations.
  • The social media presence was broadened to include DOI Snapchat stories, and partnering social media channels to amplify the message even more. Explore Park Rx on Facebook and Twitter.
    • Park Rx Day events were shared out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.