In November 2019, Metro DNA was part of the multi-sector team who led and reported on the Colorado Rx for PRONTOS (short for 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 50 participants discussed existing programs, diving into what’s working and exploring potential challenges and opportunities for future collaboration, and potential next steps. These details have been provided in one, convenient location: The 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 fostering healthy communities.
In a quote that heads the Executive Summary of the 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 out into nature is the guiding idea behind prescription programs for nature: that getting out into nature provides manifold health benefits and could be recommended as a prescription by healthcare providers to combat health problems of many kinds.
The notion behind the workshop involved a few quick questions: “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.