The Healthy Parks Healthy People program was developed by
in 2000 to encourage increased visitation to parks and gardens by highlighting their health benefits. More recently, the ground-breaking International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress
, held in 2010, drew together a wide range of research revealing that the benefits of exposure to the natural environment go well beyond the physical.
The Healthy Parks, Healthy People Program has engendered considerable resonance and support from an growing number of Australian and international reserved land management bodies, including the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service.
In addition to the obvious role that parks and reserves play as venues for physical activity and the resultant health outcomes, it is clear that these benefits extend to economic, educational, social and spiritual health.
Natural environments are invaluable as a refuge from the stresses of urban living, a place to reconnect with our own natural heritage, as living classrooms for children to explore Nature, and as natural sanctuaries for spiritual nourishment.
A growing body of evidence suggests that we experience a greater sense of health and well-being, of connection and meaning when immersed in the living systems that sustain us.
With over half of Tasmania protected in national parks
, the State offers abundant opportunities for people to experience the benefits of being immersed in the natural environment. From ancient rainforest and towering tall forests to empty beaches and rugged mountains, from wilderness to easy walking trails, there is a place for everyone.
The development of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People Philosophy continues. For links to further information, see
the Healthy Parks Healthy People Central
website, which builds on the momentum of Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative of Parks Victoria and provides an online resource dedicated to spreading the Healthy Parks, Healthy People message globally.