Marin County Health and Human Services (HHS), Marin County Parks
Marin County is known for abundant green space, a physically active population, and long life expectancy overall. However, significant health disparities exist between Marin communities. The Marin City Park Prescription (Park Rx) brings the health benefits of regular park use, for gathering together and for physical activity to Marin City. Compared to county averages, Marin City residents have higher rates of heart disease, childhood and adult obesity rates, and significantly lower life expectancy. The Park Rx program works through a Federally Qualified Health Center embedded within the community to connect clients to tailored physical activity programming at the local park and in the community. The program is a joint initiative with Marin County Parks, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Marin City Wellness Clinic and local community leadership. Clinic clients with any of four main health concerns – Diabetes, Hypertension, Overweight/Obesity or Mental health/wellness – are offered a “prescription” to tailored physical activity programming in the a recently constructed local park and surrounding green space. Launched in early 2016, preliminary program results have been promising with net improvements in BMI, systolic blood pressure and depression scores among 63 enrollees. Based on the popularity of this program County Parks and HHS are scaling up the program to other FQHC’s within Marin. In addition, program experience is being shared at local and regional conferences.
To learn more about the Marin City Rocky Graham Parks Prescription Program see what NBC Bay Area News had to say about them in, “Marin City Parks and Trails”.