The ParkRx platform provides a seamless connection for doctors, patients, and local preserves and open space to facilitate prescribing outside time and park prescriptions as medicine.
About the ParkRx movement
In October 2013, the Institute at the Golden Gate and the National Recreation and Parks Association, with support from the National Park Service, convened a group of practitioners to discuss the emerging trend of prescribing nature to improve mental and physical health. This group of park agencies, healthcare providers, and community organizations were inspired by the concept and eager to support Park Prescriptions as they moved beyond initial pilot tests into the mainstream. This group developed the National ParkRx Initiative with the goal of supporting the emerging community of Park Prescription practitioners.
Since that time, the number of Park Prescription programs has increased significantly, nationwide. As the movement has evolved, so have the needs of the community and the opportunities to support it.
ParkRx.org began as the home for the National ParkRx Initiative and has grown into the leading information hub for Park Prescriptions, creating a space for knowledge sharing in the practitioner community. Led by the Institute at the Golden Gate, ParkRx.org builds on the Park Prescription movement and provides a platform to share best practices, toolkits, and case studies.
Park Rx: Exploring an Innovative Prescription Program Webinar – View an excerpt below or watch the full webinar here:
How are nature and human health linked? What role do public health and health care workers play in connecting patients and the general public to nature?
SMCC’s Park RX Program Development:
Jeannine earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from St. Martins University, and is currently pursing her Masters of Public Health from the University of New England. She wanted to work with Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative Park Rx internship program due to her love of the outdoors and public health. Working on a project that bridges the gap between open spaces and wellness speaks to the growth, innovation, and an outside-the-box approach to people’s health care.
Kaitlyn is a senior at University of New England majoring in Health, Wellness & Occupational Studies along with a minor in Special Education. Growing up in rural Connecticut, she developed a lifelong love for the outdoors and am passionate about helping people. She is excited to be working with Park Rx because not only does it encourage people to experience the benefits of nature and develop their own unique relationship with it, but it offers a way to promote wellness holistically and engage mind, body and spirit.
Courtney is the Executive Director of Health & Technology Partners, a social science research consultancy that develops innovative and customized programs for clients, working to integrate nature exposure into a salutogenic healthcare approach for communities. With over a decade of experience, she has developed an expertise in behavioral research across the lifespan specifically for improved health outcomes focused on engaging underserved communities and in identifying public health goals supported by community parks and trails. Dr. Schultz is Adjunct Faculty for the University of Missouri, and currently sits on the advisory board for SHIFT and Hike it Baby. Dr. Schultz holds a Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from NC State University, along with a BS and a MS in Parks and Recreation Management from the University of Missouri.
A special thank you to Hannah Laskey, for her work alongside SMCC to bring ParkRx to Southern Maine.
Hannah Laskey is a student at UNE. She is earning a degree in public health which has enhanced her understanding of disease prevention and sparked her interest in promoting healthy living. Hannah worked on bringing the ParkRx platform and programming to Southern Maine. She reached out to local health providers and to SMCC member organizations to build this partnership.