Outdoor Recreation Idea of the Day, January 12, 2011

Prescription: Take Hills, Not Pills

January 12, 2011 (Washington, DC) - Blogger Marc Gunther has a great new post about the obvious opportunity to use parks and other public lands to make Americans healthier -- at less cost and less invasively.

Mr. Gunther writes: "Fortunately, a loose-knit coalition of smart people are developing a creative approach to these problems [growing obesity, disconnection from nature and lack of physical activity] that combines economic incentives, environmental awareness, doctors, insurers and the National Park Service.

"The approach is called Park Prescriptions, and it’s a simple remedy: Doctors “prescribe” trips to parks, insurance companies create incentives for outdoor activity and people get outside and just feel better.

"I first heard about Park Prescriptions from Jon Jarvis, the director of the National Park Service, during a brief visit to Glacier National Park last fall organized by the Society of Environmental Journalists. A lifelong park service leader, Jon is an impressive guy who sees the link between health and the parks as a means to accomplish two goals: get more people into the parks, and help the Park Service put itself on a sounder, more sustainable financial footing."

Read the rest of Mr. Gunther's report here.

Outdoor Recreation Idea of the Day is inspired by the President's America's Great Outdoors Initiative to connect Americans to the outdoors and its IdeaJam blog. ARC’s submissions to the blog can be found if you click here. Additional ideas that have been submitted to IdeaJam can be found in our September 2010 newsletter, which is here.