Parks For Healing

Visiting VA facilities?

While you’re there, spend some time at a nearby national park—there are more than 400 to choose from! You can relax, explore nature, find your recreation zone, discover culture, experience history, and have fun.

Find a park near the Veterans Affairs facility you are visiting. Each location has information on nearby parks with links to their websites.

Healing In Nature

“Being...out in nature, it’s just good for the soul. It’s gets you outside of yourself. It’s my...way to decompress.”
Edye Joyner, U.S. Marine Corps and Desert Storm veteran

What qualities found in nature help with the healing process?
Solitude. Wonder. Beauty. Mystery.
The value of nature is unknown except for those who experience it. Veterans entering civilian life after combat or years of service will tell you it helps them survive.

"Without having the wilderness so accessible, there would be a lot of vets—I know for a fact—that wouldn’t be here but still are."
Eric Guzman, 20 years of service, U.S. Marine Corps, machine gunner Army, Combat Engineer.

Listen To Their Story

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5 minutes, 16 seconds

During the winter months, waters from the Congaree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain of the Congaree National Park Wilderness in South Carolina - opening up a new, surreal world. Kayak through the forest and experience this special place through the eyes of local veterans who find a reprieve in the healing and dynamic waters.

To watch this program with audio description:

Healing Places and Activities

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    Last updated: September 25, 2018