One way nature exposure might be of benefit is through an effect on rumination, which is a pattern of thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. How do I view different file formats (PDF, DOC, PPT, MPEG) on this site? The Revere Recreation Department is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all citizens of the City of Revere by providing active recreational, educational, and cultural programming services for all age groups. A strong body of evidence suggests that physical activity in green spaces has stronger mental health benefits than physical activity in non-green spaces. The HIA framework can bring potential public health effects and considerations into the decision-making process for plans, projects, and policies that fall outside of traditional public health arenas, such as parks and trails. As individuals and families navigate their way through this pandemic, it’s also a time to focus on the overall health of communities. CDC reports that stress caused or aggravated by the outbreak can result in fear and worry about your health and the health of loved ones, changing in sleeping and eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems, and an increase in the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. MISSION STATEMENT. When well-designed, parks have been shown to reduce stress and foster community interaction. Additional recommendations for providing overall access to nature and its effects through parks and natural areas systems planning are to: As park and recreation professionals, we have the means to help improve mental health in our communities through our well-managed parks and natural areas. Do some park or trail features provide greater public health benefits than others? Results also showed that the more often respondents visited green spaces, the less stress they experienced. Research over the years has shown that when people are more stressed, anxious and socially isolated, as we are right now due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, having access to parks, trails and natural areas becomes even more important. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. An HIA evaluates objectively the potential health effects of a policy or project before it begins. An HIA can help address concerns about safety and management. Comprehensive plans, also called general plans, set the community’s vision for development over 10 to 50 years. You can find the workbook at It provides a framework for public health departments, city planners, project managers, and other stakeholders to work together. Well-designed parks and trails are valued parts of our environment. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year. Physician-diagnosed depression was 33 percent higher in the residential areas with the fewest green spaces, compared to the neighborhoods with the most. Think of how you can sometimes get a negative thought stuck in your head and just replay it over and over. The NRPA Directors School is an exclusive two-year professional development opportunity that prepares new and potential park and recreation directors to be effective leaders. Fundraising can be daunting — NRPA’s comprehensive Park and Recreation Professionals’ Guide to Fundraising can help. An HIA can uncover potential barriers to realization of full positive health impacts and suggest alternatives. They can be strong assets if built and maintained in a way that considers the issues in the community. 2010. In all instances though, it is critical to follow and share published CDC and general public health guidelines for response to the current pandemic, and help manage individual stress responses. In addition, physical activity can help prevent obesity. For more information about NRPA’s response to COVID-19, as well as available resources for park and recreation professionals, please see the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) webpage. Patterns have emerged which suggest that living in a place with more nature produces more mental restoration, and is likely to benefit cognitive functioning and attentional capacity. It can support the scoping, assessment, and recommendation steps. For all weight levels, physical activity alone can improve health outcomes. Individuals reported less mental distress and higher life satisfaction when they were living in greener areas. As stated on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websiteregarding managing stress and mental anxiety around the pandemic: “The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. As park and recreation professionals, we know in our hearts that good mental health is often related to having access to the outdoors and greenspace. More literature on the benefits of children and nature can found through the Children and Nature Network. The Field Guide delivers suppliers, vendors and service providers to park and recreation agencies throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about this message, please visit this page: Transportation and Health Policy and Practice, Transportation and Health Impact Assessment, Section A: Stakeholders – Subject Matter Experts, HIA Background Information and HIA Indicators, Study Area Population Health Characteristics, Strategies: Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), Strategies: Promote Active Transportation, Strategies: Incorporate Healthy Community Design Features, Strategies: Ensure Equitable Access to Transportation Networks, A Training Framework for Public Health and Planning Professionals, Healthy Community Design Checklist Toolkit,,, [PDF – 158 KB], [PDF – 528 KB],,, Because it can answer questions such as: Understanding a community’s background and its health issues can help target community resources. The major steps in conducting an HIA are: Parks can affect a range of public health issues, including injuries, mental health, and pollution exposures.

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