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Nature Play Prescription Program Expands to Reach More Floridians

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

April 16, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111 

NATURE PLAY PRESCRIPTION PROGRAM EXPANDS TO REACH MORE FLORIDIANS

TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Get Outdoors Florida! are proud to announce the 2015 renewal and expansion of the Nature Play “Prescription” Program. Created in 2014, the program was designed to increase healthy activity for children and their families through access to Florida’s award winning state parks.

“Nature Play “Prescription” is a great opportunity for Florida families to get outside, get active and enjoy our outstanding state parks,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “This collaboration is a great example of state agencies working together for Florida’s families in an effort to improve the health of families, residents and communities.”

As part of the program, healthcare professional’s give out “prescriptions” that offer children and their families free one-time entry into a state park. Nature Play “Prescription” began last year as a pilot with 10,000 “prescriptions” distributed across 47 counties, and this year the program is expanding to 25,000 “prescriptions” that will be distributed across 51 counties.

“While in a park, “prescription” recipients can hike a path, swim in a river, ride a bike, play on a playground or join in many other forms of resource-based recreation,” said Donald Forgione, director of the Florida Park Service. “They will create a lifelong link between physical activity, nature and health.”

The Nature Play “Prescription” Program offers opportunities for children and families to increase physical activity and represents the most recent effort of Healthiest Weight Florida. For more information about Healthiest Weight Florida, visit http://www.healthiestweightfl.com.

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The Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow the department on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov

Florida’s 171 state parks and trails inspire residents and visitors with recreation opportunities and scenic beauty that help strengthen families, educate children, expand local economies and foster community pride. With 161 parks, 10 state trails, nearly 800,000 acres, 100 miles of beaches and more than 1,500 miles of multi-use trails, Florida’s families are invited to visit soon and often to enjoy Florida’s natural treasures.

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