Park Prescription programs are designed to improve the physical and mental health of both individuals and the communities that they are part of. This is accomplished through creating programs that are designed collaboratively among park professionals, health care providers, public health professionals, and community based organizations.
At the 2016 Health Outdoors! Parks and Public Health Forum, two questions commonly raised by participants were: How do I build a Park Prescription program? What sectors should I partner with in order to get my programs started?
In response to these questions the Institute’s Health program did two things: 1) create collaboratives in various counties throughout the Bay Area to help facilitate the creation of Park Prescription programs within them, and 2) create a comprehensive toolkit that efficiently and effectively models each step needed to create a Park Prescription program.
What is unique and wonderful about this toolkit is that it allows the user to not only see the steps that are needed within their own sector, but also allows them to see the steps that other sectors have to follow as well.
How to use this toolkit:
To get started, select the portal for the sector that you represent (clinical, public health, community, or parks) or would like to view.
This will then open a series of steps in green, below is an example using the portal for park professionals.
Select the step that you are interested in learning more about by clicking on each green box. Once selected, the box that you have chosen will expand to provide training videos and technical assistance tools that support your progress in this step. Below is an example of what Parks Step 1: Determine your population looks like when selected.
As with most toolkits, the implementation of this toolkit works best when supported and championed by all of the agencies and sectors involved. If you have any questions or feedback about the toolkit, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Health program’s newest report is now complete!
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:
This report also provides successful program models of current Bay Area Park Prescription programs.
On September 21, 2016 the Institute’s health program convened 200 Bay Area parks, public health, non-profit, and academic professionals at the Health Outdoors! Parks and Public Health Forum.
As an event, Health Outdoors! sought to bring together those who work at the intersection of health and nature, and provide them with a space to learn from one another, share best practices, and build partnerships.
Through attending this forum, participants gained a solid understanding of:
This event took place at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, and was put together in collaboration with the Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area Collaborative, Bay Area Moves! and made possible by Kaiser Permanente.
In the morning attendees had the opportunity to listen to dynamic and engaging plenary speakers Dr. Nooshin Razani and Dr. Nina Roberts, who both made the case about why it is important to be physically active outdoors in nature, and why it is essential for communities to have both equal and equitable access green space. In addition to listening to speakers who are the leaders in the fields, one of the morning highlights was the physical activity break where attendees learned the dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The morning session ended with a panel of park and health agencies who have been successful in creating park prescription programs in the Bay Area.
During lunch not only did everyone at the forum have the opportunity to network with one another, but attendees also had the opportunity to experience the many health benefits of nature firsthand through a ranger-led tour of Fort Mason and yoga on the Great Meadow.
In the afternoon attendees attended two sessions of workshops that provided them with strategies and best practices around how to leverage health and park partnerships to create equitable built environments, ways to incorporate physical activity into current programs, creating park prescription programs, and creating programs that attract diverse communities.
Overall, the Health Outdoors! Parks and Public Health Forum was a great success. To be there as both a volunteer and an attendee was truly a rewarding and amazing experience. The excitement and energy around the opportunity to learn and collaborate from one another was palpable and felt by both those presenting and those attending various workshops.
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