On BC Parks Day, July 21st, hundreds of hikers participated in Outside & Unplugged walks in over 30 different provincial parks across British Columbia. The walks, led by health-care professionals and nature experts, officially launched the BC Parks Foundation’s Healthy By Nature initiative, which aims to promote the nature-health connection among BC residents with a special focus on families and children.
CAPE played a significant role in the event by recruiting physician leaders and providing evidence-based messaging and publicity. It received widespread media coverage, with over 500,000 hits on social media, radio interviews and featured articles in several newspapers.
The mission of the BC Parks Foundation is to protect, enhance, celebrate and share the magic of park life.Its focus on health as an entry point for increasing public interest and engagement in parks is well supported by research into what motivates people to make behavioural change. As an organization that works to better human health by protecting the planet, CAPE’s strengths in education and advocacy make this partnership a natural fit.
Dr. Melissa Lem, CAPE board member and Nature-Health lead, co-led a walk on Mount Seymour. Said she of the event, “In an era of pervasive screen time, it was inspiring to witness so many families getting outside together to learn about and celebrate the health benefits of green time. I can’t wait to see where this collaboration goes next.”
Jennie McCaffrey, head of the Healthy By Nature initiative, also enthused, “It was wonderful to see such strong support from health-care professionals across the province. We’re so happy to be partnering with CAPE as we work towards getting more British Columbians outside and unplugged.”
Stay tuned for more exciting projects from our team, including local talks and guided nature walks, interactive hiking trails, and the roll-out of a provincial Parks Prescription program over the next year.