The Foundation for Dane County Parks is honored to partner with SSM Health and Dean Health Plan and Dane County Parks on the “Healthy Parks, Healthy You” initiative starting in 2021. The three-year partnership reflects our shared goals of improving health and providing inclusive programming.
From 2021-2023, we will partner in finding new, creative ways to engage youth, seniors, and their families in improving their mental, physical, and emotional health through the use of our beautiful Dane County Parks system. Starting in 2021, we will increase awareness of the relationship of parks and nature to health. Under safe public health guidelines, we will also offer seasonal health-related activities and events that encourage family health and help area families build a greater familiarity and comfort with the variety of parks and outdoor spaces available right herein Dane County.
Recently, the partnership coordinated a community COVID-19 vaccination event, which was a great success. More information is available on the vaccination event page.
"A park is not just a piece of land, it is a vibrant source of community pride, and a place where people can renew and improve their emotional and physical health. We are excited to partner with SSM Health, Dean Health Plan and Dane County Parks to promote the health benefits of nature to all people of Dane County for many years to come." - Bill Lunney, Foundation for Dane County Parks President
Each month, we are featuring four special Dane County Parks. Check out our blog post to learn more about these four parks, the special activities available in each, and how you can participate on social media for the chance to win a gift card!
The Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
"We know that spending time in nature has significant physical and mental health benefits for everyone. As Wisconsinites and Dane County residents we are incredibly lucky to have access to the beautiful Dane County Park System. We are excited to showcase these incredible resources through the 'Healthy Parks, Healthy You' initiative." - Dr. Mark Thompson, President of Medical Groups for SSM Health Wisconsin
Time spent in nature has a multitude of mental and physical health benefits. Research shows some of the following benefits:
· 20 minutes spent walking in nature improves concentration and, in some cases, can reduce the need for ADHD and ADD medications in children.
· 30 minutes spent walking in a park can improve heart health, circulation and lower blood pressure.
· Just five minutes walking in nature improves mood, self-esteem and relaxation.
Frequent exposure to nature reduces anxiety and depression, while promoting a sense of wellbeing and fulfillment.
Stay up to date on Healthy Parks Healthy You programs by following us on Facebook:
If you visit a Dane County Park, take a picture and share it on Facebook using #HealthyParksHealthyYou or #HPHY for a chance to win a prize! Posts must have the audience set to 'public' to be eligible.
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Healthy Parks, Healthy You
The "Healthy Parks, Healthy You" partnership between the Foundation, Dean/SSM Health, and Dane County Parks aims to promote the connection between parks and physical and mental health.