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Doctors prescribing parks: More on the podcast episode with Dr. Zarr

Last month, I former colleague of mine put me in touch with Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician based in Washington, DC. The topic of our discussion was doctors prescribing parks. I had never heard of this, so I was eager to reach out to Dr. Zarr to discuss the possibility of producing a podcast episode on this topic. 

During my conversation with Zarr about the nonprofit Park Rx America (you can listen to the episode below), I was surprised to learn that doctors across the US are actually writing prescriptions for parks and nature. 

In a nation were so much emphasis is placed on medications, how have we reached a point where it's becoming common for prescriptions to now include nature and parks? 

I honestly don't care what the answer to this question is, I'm just glad we can now recognize the importance of green spaces. 

Speaking with Dr. Zarr was a delight and I learned much about how organizations such as Park Rx America are helping spread the importance of green spaces and nature as a means to help heal and to reduce the effects of chronic illness. 

“Most of what we’re ailing from these days…is a group of chronic diseases which can vary from anxiety and depression to high blood pressure, diabetes, to being overweight, just an overall feeling of negativity, which takes a toll on our overall health," Dr. Zarr told me. He also mentioned that we need "to think about parks not just a place to recreate but as literally places for us to restore out health.”

My conversation with Dr. Zarr was informative and enlightening in a way. He clearly discussed the connections between nature and health, offering real world examples of the correlation between the two and explaining how we can live healthier, more vibrant lives simply by spending time in green spaces and nature. 

 
Ash Blankenship