National Park Service 2016 Centennial
Highlights Healthy Parks Healthy People US
By Evelyn Cunico, MA, MSLIS
Posted July 18, 2016
On August 25, 2016, and throughout the year, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) is celebrating its Centennial Anniversary. NPS is inviting the public to Experience Your America!
NPS Centennial activities highlight Healthy Parks Healthy People US, part of the global movement that facilitates health promotion in parks and communities at local, state, national, and international levels.
Australian park agency, Parks Victoria, created the Healthy Parks Healthy People name in the year 2000. The Healthy Parks Healthy People Central website, maintained by Parks Victoria, evolved out of the International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress in 2010 to maintain global momentum to better understand the links between nature and human health.
In 2011, the U.S. National Park Service established Healthy Parks Healthy People US in the NPS Office of Public Health. Healthy Parks Healthy People US aims to reshape the role of parks and public lands to promote the health of the American people and the natural environment.
Healthy Parks Healthy People US
Healthy Parks Healthy People US builds awareness about how parks and public lands contribute to physical, mental, and spiritual health, and social well-being.
Through partnerships and collaborations, the NPS Healthy Parks Healthy People US program functions through six programmatic areas.
- Healthy Foods
- Healthy Habitats
- Healthy Partnerships
- Healthy People
- Healthy Recreation
- Healthy Science
The National Park Service Healthy Parks Healthy People US website guides you to learn about NPS Healthy Parks Healthy People US information resources.
Find Your Park
Find Your Park is a movement launched by the National Park Service as part of the National Park Service Centennial to celebrate national, state, and local parks, as well as museums and historic sites. Find Your Park is supported by the NPS non-profit partner, the National Park Foundation.
As mentioned on its website, Find Your Park is about more than national parks.
- Find Your Park is about the National Park Service working in your community through community assistance projects and educational programs.
- Find Your Park is about state parks, local parks, trails, museums, and historic sites.
- Find Your Park is about the many ways that the American public can connect with history and culture, enjoy nature, and make new discoveries
Plan Your Visit
The National Park Service Find a Park Index page includes a drop-down menu to select from more than 400 U.S. National Parks.
You may click on your state to find names, locations, and events at National Parks in your state. After you find a park, the right navigation bar on each park site includes demographic and economic statistics. Then, you may like to plan a visit.
The National Park Service, together with the National Park Foundation, and Corporate Sponsors also maintain a Find Your Park website. The dot com website offers a social media option to share what a park means to you by uploading your story in the form of a dance, a painting, a poem, a song, or a video.
The National Association of State Park Directors maintains a website that you can visit to Find a State Park
Every Kid in a Park
The National Park Service wants all fourth-grade students to visit their public lands and waters. The NPS offers fourth-graders the opportunity to get free access to hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for an entire year.
You can visit the Every Kid in a Park website to find out How to Get Your Pass and How to Plan a Trip.
The program provides free passes for fourth-graders only. Current third-graders can get their fourth-grade passes starting September 01, 2016.
Several Federal agencies are participating in the Every Kid in a Park program.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Bureau of Land Management
- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- U.S. Forest Service
- U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- U.S. National Park Service
Experience Your America Right Outside Your Door
Not everyone can visit a National Park or a State Park. The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) has developed a free downloadable online booklet, titled, Experience Your America Right Outside Your Door: Ten Ways to Keep Your Family Active Every Day.
The RTCA also has online resources on its Publications page. For example, the Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook makes public health issues a central part of the planning and decision making process for parks and trails.
With help from National Park Service rangers, pediatricians and family medicine doctors across the country are prescribing outdoor activities at local parks that are accessible and safe for their patients. Each community adapts activities to meet local needs.
CHIME Consumer Health reported on the Healthy Parks Healthy People US program, called, Children and Nature Initiative: Rx for Outdoor Activity, in the August 09, 2015 CHIME issue. See the post titled, National Environmental Education Foundation Joins with Pediatricians and National Park Service for Children’s Health
Park Rx Case Studies may help you and your community to develop your own Park Rx program.
Fill your Park Prescription with Park Rx Activities to Do in Your Park
The National Park Service invites you now to Find Your Park and Experience Your America!
Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog should not replace the medical advice of your doctor. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any disease, illness, or other health condition without first consulting with your medical doctor or other health care provider.