June: Health for All: Recreation in the Great Outdoors

For 100 years, the National Park Service has been dedicated to protecting health and promoting parks as a health resource for NPS employees and the visiting public. 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of an agreement between the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and the National Park Service (NPS) to protect, promote, and advance health in our parks. This anniversary provides and invaluable opportunity to celebrate and tap into The Power of Parks for Health. Join us this month on the theme Health for All: Recreation in the Great Outdoors! We invite you to learn more about how to #RecreateResponsibly and explore the health benefits of spending time in national parks.

Key Messages

  • Learn about the history of health in the National Park Service and our partnership with the Public Health Service.
  • Invite people to get active in parks and find ways to recreate responsibly.

  • Share information related to growing and maintaining personal and community wellness.

  • Elevate diverse park stories and experiences connected to health, wellness and nature.

Social Media

We encourage visitors, parks and partners to use #PowerofParksforHealth, #GreatOutdoorsMonth, #FindYourPark or #EncuentraTuParque hashtags when sharing this month’s messaging on social media.

To promote multicultural awareness in parks throughout the year, use #MakingSpaceForEveryFace, #YourParkYourHealth #PowerofParksForHealth.

We also encourage you to share your own social media posts as you utilize public lands to improve your health. Ideas for Social Media Posts include:

  • Performing a solo or group activity or exercise in nature

  • Using health and wellness tips during an outdoor activity

  • Showing up to a promoted virtual event or roundtable

  • Participating in a suggested engagement activity like camping or fishing

Day by Day Engagement Calendar

Learn about ways to engage and promote this month's theme of Health for All: Recreation in the Great Outdoors!
Check out A Century of Support, an article on the history of the United States Public Health Service and the National Park Service partnership, published in Ranger Magazine.

RSVP your Park Health Experience

Everyone has a role to play in promoting parks as a health resource. Become a Park Health Ambassador and register an outdoor experience today! #WellnessWednesday

Read our ‘Public Health in our Parks’ article.

June is Pride Month! Read the National Park Service’s LGBTQ Pride Guide, an interactive resource for exploring lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) history and places in the United States. #MakingSpaceforEveryFace

It’s National Bike Travel Weekend! Choose biking today instead of driving or using transit, or go on a leisurely bike ride.
For National Caves and Karst Day, Join park rangers for in-depth conversations that illuminate the diverse natural and cultural resources of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the Three Sources of Light podcast.

Our Public Health Service Officers ensure safe and healthy experiences in parks for everyone by investigating water quality, food safety, waste management, and more in our national parks. Learn more about the work of our officers!

Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy parks, but you should be aware of potential disease risks and how to prevent them. Ticks are small creatures that can pose health threats for you and your pets. Review the NPS Tickborne Disease Prevention tips.
Wanting to get active in parks but dislike “solo” activities like running? Green exercise clinics utilize the power of group exercise to keep you motivated. Try one of our five green exercise clinics with friends or family today!

Read today’s #HistoryofHealth feature 100 Years of Health in National Parks, an article written by our own OPH staff.

Ever heard of #HikesforHealing? NPS hosted a Hikes for Healing event last fall at Great Smoky Mountains National Park to initiate conversations about racism and race-based trauma. Today, think about organizing your own Healing Hike in a national or local park.
It’s National Get Outdoors Day! Learn more about the #PowerofParksforHealth by reading our article on the health benefits of time outdoors.
Fishing is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the health benefits of parks. Check out your local park’s fishing protocol and make sure your fishing license is up to date!
Have you heard of One Health? This powerful concept illustrates how the health of humans, animals and our ecosystem are all connected. Learn more about One Health and how NPS is working to address simple and complex health issues in your parks.
Harmful algal blooms are an even bigger threat in summer months. Check out our article on preventing illnesses when recreating in fresh water.
This #WellnessWednesday is all about COVID-19. Read the latest NPS Public Health Updates and COVID-19 Guidance.

Have you heard about the Power of Parks for Health Roundtable Series? Check out the recordings for Black History Month and AAPI Heritage month. Find new ways to elevate diverse stories throughout the year and be sure to share with your family and friends #MakingSpaceforEveryFace

The threat of climate change has become one of the most pressing public health issues of our lifetime. Learn more about what the NPS is doing to address the challenges of climate change in your national parks.

Today is Juneteenth and a day to elevate diverse stories! Watch the NPS film Twenty & Odd, directed by Mathew John (NPS Audiovisual Specialist) and produced by six former African American NPS fellows. For a “behind the scenes” look at the story, be sure to read our Companion Guide. Share it with your friends and family!

It’s officially the First Day of Summer! Find a park near you to explore today using our ‘Find a Park’ tool.

It’s Pollinator Week! Pollinators contribute to human health by pollinating the plants that clean our air and that we eat. Take today to learn more about your local pollinators or buy a “pollinator friendly” plant for your yard!
We invite you to soak up the sun this summer and check out our strategies for combatting heat-related illnesses.
Post a picture on social media of you performing your favorite outdoor activity with the hashtag #WellnessWednesday. Get creative!
Take a look at our published StoryMap for an in-depth, interactive history between the Public Health Service and the National Park Service. #HistoryofHealth
Watch our Power of Parks for Health launch video, then take some time to journal about what health means to you.
This weekend, plan a camping trip or camp in your backyard/ living room! #GreatAmericanCampout
Learn how your pups can become #BARKRangers!
Check out our PHS Career Spotlight!
Plan a backcountry camping experience after reading our health and safety tips.
Spending time in nature is a great self-care activity, and can improve mental wellness. Today, spend at least 30 minutes outside walking, meditating, or journaling. #WellnessWednesday

Last updated: June 2, 2021