In November 2019, Metro DNA was part of the multi-sector team who led and reported on the Colorado Rx for PRONTOS (Colorado Prescriptions for Parks, Recreation, Outdoors, Nature, Trails, and Open Space) workshop: a convening of those invested in local parks, open space, healthcare, and the outdoors. All who gathered see the importance of nature’s ability to promote healthy bodies and minds. The workshop enabled the collection of information on the many prescription programs for parks, recreation, outdoors, nature, trails, and open space active and emerging across the state.
The approximately fifty participants discussed existing programs, dove into what’s working and explored potential challenges and opportunities for future collaboration, as well as potential next steps. These details have been provided in one, convenient location: The Colorado Rx for PRONTOS Report! Metro DNA is so excited to share information from the report that we’ve decided to break it up into a few blog posts, so keep your eyes out for future Rx for PRONTOS Report posts. For now, let’s explore what Prescription Programs for the outdoors are and why Metro DNA thinks that they’re important to Colorado communities.
In a quote that heads the Executive Summary of the Rx for PRONTOS report, Richard Louv posed getting out into nature as more than time off: “Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health (and also, by the way, in our own).” Louv’s reframing of the importance of getting into nature is the guiding idea behind prescription programs for nature: that getting outside provides manifold health benefits and could be recommended as a prescription by healthcare providers to combat health problems of many kinds. To Metro DNA, prescription programs provide an opportunity for growing Coloradan’s connection to the outdoors and for fostering healthy communities.
The Rx for PRONTOS workshop’s goal, to build a “community of practice among prescription programs in Colorado,” spurred questions that guided workshop conversations: “What would happen if we gathered as many people as we could in Colorado who are doing this work from multiple perspectives and asked them to talk to each other, share information, and brainstorm? What could we learn?” In the next post, we’ll dive into what was learned from the Rx for PRONTOS workshop! Stay tuned and read more in the full report.