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Be Our Guest: Healthy Parks Healthy People starts year 2

June 5, 2014

From time to time we invite someone to be our guest here on the Open Space Council blog. We’re happy to welcome Healthy Parks Healthy People, a regional coalition of park agencies and public health partners who are co-creating programs to encourage more people to use parks for their personal health. This Saturday, June 7, 2014 the second year of First Saturdays will begin. Read on…

First Saturdays Launch for Second Year Around the Bay Area

Parks exist to enhance and add value to our lives. From the economic boost they give to cities to the social interactions they help facilitate, we may sometimes take the uncounted benefits of parks for granted.

The Healthy Parks Healthy People: Bay Area (HPHP: Bay Area) initiative positions parks as health resources for the whole family—especially those in the highest health need communities. This movement is engaging and creating a whole new group of lifelong park users who will help ensure a future for our parks and public lands for generations to come, while improving their own health at the same time.

In the last year alone, over 35 park sites throughout the Bay Area have offered Healthy Parks, Healthy People programming on the first Saturday of every month—engaging hundreds of new park users. Parks and health agencies are working together to guarantee that park facilities and programs encourage physical activity, foster social connections, and extend a warm welcome to new visitors.

Park and healthcare providers hope that this regional initiative can be a catalyst for broad policy change that advances the adoption of measurable recreational models to support the delivery of healthcare to improve the physical and mental health of our population. In the next year we hope to reach an even wider audience and begin to create lifelong park users who will improve the health of our communities and our planet.

The next time you find yourself overwhelmed by work or stressed out from the daily to-do’s, make the time to go for a walk in your park. We guarantee you’ll feel better once you do. The HPHP: Bay Area collaborative is continuing to welcome new and returning park users each month and we hope to see you out there soon. For more information on the collaborative and to find a program near you click here.

See you in the parks!

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Read past posts in our Be Our Guest series. Watch this video about HPHP and follow HPHP Bay Area on Twitter with #hphpbayarea.