This will be the first in a series of updates every month or two, to keep you updated on our progress and we move from dreaming, to piloting, to launching a full program partnering with health practitioners to get people outdoors.
We’ll start with some key thank you’s.
First off to Family Care Network for agreeing to pilot this program! And to the Whatcom County Health Department and our City and County park departments for your help from the beginning.
Huge thanks also to Teresa Schmidt and Katrina Lyon for brainstorming our way to our program name:
I am incredibly excited to announce that both the Chuckanut Health Foundation and Whatcom Community Foundation are supporting the launch of this program with grant funding.
We also have in-kind support from the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance grant program. This awesome team is working with us to bring together our advisory team to guide us in the long-term growth, funding and evaluation of the program.
And maybe the biggest announcement of all. We are proud to be partnering with Park Rx America. This initiative was started by Dr Zarr of DC Park Rx – the program that was inspiration for ours. The ability to use their website and learn from their efforts in working with doctors gives us the ability to get started much faster than anticipated and to focus our energies on developing the program instead of building a new website. It also sets us up for great long-term learning and sharing together and for the ability to share data as we evaluate the impact of these park prescription programs.
Our incredible data team led by Square One Maps is working away to get our park data ready for the Park Rx America website while other teams will be working on training, educational and promotional materials and integrating the program into the Family Care Network system.
Stay tuned for more updates on our pilot program goals and timeline.
And for more background, you can pick-up the current issue of Adventures Northwest magazine for a Parkscriptions overview, read this article in the winter issue of Mount Baker Experience or listen to my interview with Erika Flint on her radio show: ReProgram Your Health.
Thanks to everyone for your enthusiasm and support for the program – it is a huge reason why we keep moving ahead and have seen so much community support so quickly.
Hope to see you outside soon,