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hphpbayarea (3)

  • Our Health program’s newest report is now complete!

    Introducing the Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area, A Roadmap and Case Study for Regional Collaboration.

    Since its creation in 2012 we have seen many successes with the HPHP: Bay Area collaborative, and wanted to capture our challenges, successes, and lessons learned to not only share with those who work at the intersection of parks and health, but also with those interested in creating their own regional cross-sector collaboratives.

    As a collaborative, HPHP: Bay Area seeks to be a space for park and health agencies to share best practices, workshop programmatic challenges, and accomplishes this through the initiatives of First Saturday programs and Park Prescription programs.

    We decided to frame this report as a roadmap and case study for regional collaboration because the story, successes, and challenges of HPHP: Bay Area provide a unique case study and potential roadmap for other collaboratives across the county who are looking to connect health and parks within their agencies and communities.

    We also wanted to frame this report within the context of a roadmap because the evolution and growth of the HPHP: Bay Area collaborative has been –and continues to be— a wonderful journey of innovation, exploration, partnership, and iteration.

    This report pulls from 30 interviews of collaborative members and comprehensively describes the history of the HPHP: Bay Area collaborative. The roadmap is broken down into six steps, allowing readers the ability to take a deep dive into how to create a vibrant cross-sector collaborative such as Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area. The steps are as follows:

    1. Identify and convene stakeholders
    2. Develop a purpose
    3. Create a collaborative structure
    4. Pilot an idea
    5. Provide consistent and appropriate park programs
    6. Develop tailored Park Prescription programs

    This report also provides successful program models of current Bay Area Park Prescription programs.

    For those who would like to download the report, it is available at hphpbayarea.org/resources and instituteatgoldengate.org

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  • Stroll Call: Surgeon General Issues Our Walking Orders

    On September 9, the U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, launched a nationwide Call to Action on Walking. As chronic disease, depression, and obesity rates in the country soar, “America’s Doctor” is extolling the health benefits of walking. 

    The “Step It Up!” campaign challenges the nation to make walking a national priority in all facets of American life. Dr. Murthy’s Call to Action seeks to promote development of communities where it is safe and easy to walk, launch walking programs, and conduct research on walking. 

    As lovers of parks and open space, we at the Institute at the Golden Gate (a Parks Conservancy program in partnership with the National Park Service) are doing our part to answer the Surgeon General’s call. In fact, our belief in the health benefits of parks is so great that we’re taking many approaches to promote parks as places to walk and recreate.

    • Individually, we use park trails and paths to experience first-hand the physical, mental, and social benefits of walking.
    • Locally, we have dozens of programs (such as Healthy Parks Healthy People, the Crissy Field Center, LINC) that bring communities into the park to walk and enjoy the parks.
    • Regionally, we work with thousands of park stewards to maintain safe and accessible walking paths in parks.
    • Nationally, we convene the top researchers, practitioners, and advocates of the parks/health nexus to develop policies that amplify the role of parks in healthy, walkable communities. We’re excited about our growing role in fulfilling the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking—and we invite you to join us.

    Take the first step, and reconnect with the physical, mental, and social benefits of visiting a park. Attend a Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area program this Saturday, October 3rd. There are over 10 family-friendly, easy, and fun walks all over the Bay Area to get you started.

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  • Park, health, and community organizations from all nine Bay Area counties—including the Institute at the Golden Gate—launched a coordinated effort called Healthy Parks, Healthy People: Bay Area in June to provide approachable, culturally relevant park programming for communities with high health needs. The programs, which involved over two dozen diverse organizations, kicked off on June 1 and will continue the first Saturday of every month.

    The programs brought over 100 people out to parks across the region, many for the first time. Families, seniors, and community groups participated in activities ranging from a stroll around the Crissy Field tidal marsh to a healthy hike in Santa Clara County to an interpretive walk at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in the East Bay. Participating agencies had staff on hand to introduce visitors to the features of the park and talk with people about the many physical and mental health benefits of spending time outdoors.

    With mounting evidence that people of all ages are more physically active when outside and often experience lowered stress levels in that environment, parks and health care providers are working together to make it easier to spend time outdoors. Together, we are helping to create a healthier Bay Area population through the regular use and enjoyment of parks and public lands right here in our own backyards.

    This regional collaborative is part of the international Healthy Parks, Healthy People movement that takes a holistic approach to promote the health and well-being of people and the sustainability of the planet.

    To learn more about Healthy Parks, Healthy People or to join an activity near you visit hphpbayarea.org. See you in the parks!


    This article was featured in the July 2013 Park E-ventures.

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