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Institute at the Golden Gate Launches Web Platform to Share Parks & Health Initiatives and Best Practices Nationwide

Assistant Editor’s Note: While the following article is news regarding U.S. National Parks, it is also relevant worldwide as an example how national parks can be involved with and serve local communities.

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the connections between the outdoors and health, the Institute at the Golden Gate has launched a new online platform designed to facilitate collaboration between the growing number of programs across the U.S. utilizing parks and public lands as catalysts to better health.

The online Parks & Health Guide highlights four key initiatives of the national Healthy Parks Healthy People movement: Park Prescriptions, Healthy & Sustainable Food, Youth & Nature, and Mental Health & Wellbeing. The direct result of collaborations between healthcare providers and park leaders facilitated by the Institute at the Golden Gate, Healthy Parks Healthy People was propelled to the national stage in April 2011, when National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis convened a nationwide gathering in the Golden Gate National Parks to explore how parks can promote healthier lifestyles to improve public health and lower healthcare costs.

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2 Comments to Institute at the Golden Gate Launches Web Platform to Share Parks & Health Initiatives and Best Practices Nationwide

  1. Interesting that this comes out now, while the National Park Service is trying to restrict the already miniscule bit (<1%) of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area currently available and free to residents and visitors who wish to enjoy the physical, social and mental health benefits of walking, playing and running with their canine companions off-leash. A handful of Pacific beaches and a few other areas are in question – barely a noticeable quantity out of the 75,000 acres in the GGNRA. Most are easily accessible by public transportation and charge no admission – key points of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People Initiative.

    The issue is fraught with both Washington, D.C. and San Francisco politics — daunting, but not insurmountable. Still, with personal freedom, diversity and scenic beauty as some of the SF Bay Area's hallmarks, it is troubling to see the growing undercurrent of anti-dog sentiment as the NPS tries to tighten control of the GGNRA.

    I urge the Institute to take up the cause and advocate to maintain off-leash access to this beautiful area, created for the recreational use of the people of San Francisco and vicinity. Is there any other city in the US as blessed with natural beauty and as forward-thinking as the people in the Bay Area who secured the GGNRA for generations to come? I don't think so.

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