Park Prescriptions: Stay Healthy In Nature Every day (SHINE)
At East Bay Regional Park District we are invested in the health of the communities we serve. We know that being outdoors, especially in natural settings, bring physical and mental health benefits to individuals, families and communities. In 2014, the Park District teamed up with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland to launch the Park Rx SHINE program to bring their patients - children with chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes or ADHD - to the outdoors as a way to improve their physical and mental health. Trained clinic volunteers follow up with the patients’ families to schedule their park visit upon recommendation of the doctor.
On the first Saturday of every month, the Park District and Regional Parks Foundation provide free transportation, healthy lunch, and a day of fun outdoor activities led by park staff. Over 650 children and family members, accompanied by medical staff have participated - walking, playing games, learning about nature, making new friends, and improving their overall sense of well being. For many of the families, this is the first time they have been to a Regional Park or an outdoor recreational environment.
The Park District has also integrated the outdoors into the clinic by installing beautiful park visuals and posters throughout the clinic to inspire and educate families to use their park resources and to get active outdoors. Seven clinic rooms have been named after regional parks.
In 2015, the Park District partnered with Contra Costa County Health Services to launch Park Rx. Videos featuring healthy outdoor activities in the Regional Parks play continuously in the waiting rooms of their nine health clinics. The videos educate and encourage patients and families to be active outdoors in the Regional Parks in Richmond, Martinez, Pittsburgh, Antioch and Brentwood. The Regional Parks Foundation also provide free transportation to the patients enrolled in their pediatric obesity and adult mindfulness programs. The physicians and therapists accompany the patients for nature walks and interactive mindfulness activities