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Parks Victoria to trial health focused rangers
Parks Victoria has today announced it will be creating Australia’s first ‘Health Rangers’ in parks to encourage visitors to improve their physical and mental health by spending time outdoors.
Speaking today from the Nature is Good Medicine Summit, Parks Victoria Chief Operating Officer Simon Talbot said the ‘health rangers’ will help make parks more accessible than ever by delivering activities and working with health service providers, volunteers and other groups to deliver more nature-based health programs.
These will include green prescriptions, walking, cycling, bushcraft and outdoor skills, water-based activities and programs that promote positive mental health.
An initial trial over 2018/19 will see at least three Health Rangers located in urban parks in Melbourne including Albert Park and Lysterfield Park.
The Nature is Good Medicine Summit has brought together 100 senior decision makers from across the Victorian government, not-for-profit, medical, academic and corporate sectors to explore new opportunities to unlock the power of nature-based health solutions to address many of the State’s biggest health challenges.
A rapidly increasing body of research has shown that nature-based programs can be an important contributor to improving the growing social and economic burden of obesity, mental health, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, back pain and musculoskeletal conditions.
Parks Victoria’s network of national, state and urban parks and waterways provide nature-based settings that suitable for all ages from children to seniors and the implementation of Health Rangers will help bring the health benefits of these places to life.
Commenting on the trial, Talbot advised “there is an ever-increasing demand for nature-based health programs and wellness services and having Health Rangers within parks makes great sense.
“If feedback on the Health Rangers is positive, we can expect rapid expansion of the concept. We are asking health professionals and allied health bodies for their input at the Health Summit and during the initial pilot program.
“We will be looking for people with an interest and skills in nature-based health and wellness programs to apply for these roles.”
Image: Exercising in Albert Park.
29th August 2018 - Glamping trial to begin in Victorian National Parks
8th August 2018 - Combatting physical inactivity with preventative health promotion
7th January 2018 - World Urban Parks makes a difference
12th December 2017 - Parks Victoria to employ 53 new Rangers
8th December 2017 - New campaign emphasises wellness benefits of contact with nature
11th February 2017 - City of Sydney expands park fitness equipment program
9th January 2017 - Parks Victoria multi-million dollar credit card bill under investigation
27th October 2016 - Research project to investigate how green spaces impact health
16th July 2016 - Green Prescriptions helping young people get more active
10th April 2015 - Deakin University study into the health benefits of parks
18th February 2015 - New Zealand moves forward with green prescriptions
31st May 2013 - Healthy Parks Healthy People grants announced
8th March 2012 - Urban design can boost activity and health
18th April 2011 - $15 million commitment to Athletics at Melbourne’s Albert Park
7th December 2009 - International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress 2010
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