Parks and Recreation

Obesity rates are on the rise, in part because of the public’s lack of access to clean water, healthy food and safe and accessible places to be physically active.  Parks and recreation play a critical role in the public health arena to combat chronic disease.  In many communities, the local park and recreation departments provide a wide array of recreational programming, as well as ensuring that communities have safe places to play.  Increasingly partnerships are developing between parks and recreation professionals and public health advocates in recognition of the shared goal of a healthy community.  Parks and recreation efforts can impact public health by changing the food environment, allowing easier access to recreational spaces, and ensuring clean air through tobacco free policies.  For example, parks and recreation departments around the country are implementing healthy vending policies and contracts, as well as facilitating community gardens.  In addition, parks and recreation departments have often led efforts to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, by using practical strategies and policy development to making programming and facilities accessible to community members needing special accommodations.

On March 1, 2012, the Public Health Law Center joined the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association, its Step Up to Health Committee, and the American Heart Association to conduct a day-long training for Minnesota park and recreation departments. The workshop focused on policy and legal tools related to the parks and recreation profession.  Obesity rates are on the rise, in part because of the public’s lack of access to clean water, healthy food, and safe and accessible places to be physical active. For more information about this workshop, click here.

Check out our Parks and Recreation Resources!

For Other Related Topics:

Other Helpful Resources: