Ever feel like all you need is a little time outdoors? You’re not alone, and a relatively new program wants to help you get it. The BC Parks Foundation’s ‘Park Prescriptions’ (PaRX) has been working to get people their own ‘nature prescription’ across Canada, and they just shared their biggest success so far!

Having started back in 2020 in BC, the Parks Prescriptions program used scientific research to justify the benefits of getting outside. No, seriously, spending time in nature has been found to do everything from lower stress-hormone levels to reducing the risk of heart disease to helping seniors live longer. And on the other hand, children who spend time in nature are more likely to take steps to conserve and protect it. It’s a win-win for both humans and the planet!

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So, hearing that the program got its first national-level backing is music to our ears. On Monday, January 31st, Parks Prescriptions announced that they had partnered with Parks Canada to offer free access to national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas. In fact, participating doctors can even give out annual ‘Discovery Passes’ (a $72.25 value) to those who fit the bill. Of course, priority is being given to those who actually live close to these places and who would benefit the most from free access.

Which leads into our final note about the ‘nature prescription’ program in Canada. So far, over 1,000 doctors, nurses, and other licensed health care professionals in BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have access to Parks Prescriptions, and the people behind it are working hard to make it a national program.

So, the next time you’re in for a checkup, check in with your doctor about this amazing program.