Parks and trails can be gateways to healthy living by promoting holistic health. Parks provide opportunities for physical activity, stress reduction, social interaction, and environmental sustainability. The Community Guide now recommends access to parks and trails in combination with improved walk/bike routes as a public health intervention to increase physical activity.
Park and trail system planners, public health professionals, community leaders, and researchers all need to know what does and does not work well with regard to park access and use and how it relates to improved community health. The National Park Service (NPS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated to identify eight common measures that can be used to link parks and trails to public health goals.
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