looking for resources to help your organization?
You've come to the right place.
Feel free to use the tools and guidelines we've developed here to help your organization progress in health & outdoors-related work. We're still developing further program evaluations, data sets, and other resources for dissemination, so check back regularly to see what new tools we've added to the page.
Parks & Green Infrastructure for Health
In collaboration with the National Recreation and Park Association, we’re working on a year-long project to help park and recreation professionals champion natural infrastructure in their communities.
We conducted a literature review of peer-reviewed journal articles that make the connection between green infrastructure in parks and community health;
You can head over to the NRPA site to see all of our publications, and keep your eyes peeled for more resources coming out of this partnership in 2020!
Green Infrastructure Guide
Willamette Partnership and Oregon Public Health Institute built the “Green Infrastructure and Health Guide” for the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange to help local government, communities, and health care organizations connect green infrastructure and public health in new ways.
Water utilities dealing with drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater have public health in their missions. In the mid-19th century, public sanitation improvements increased life expectancy from 35 to 80 years by bringing clean water to people’s homes and reducing communicable disease, such as cholera. Now, chronic conditions (such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and depression) are the most prevalent health issues in the United States, Canada, and other nations, and preventing them is the public health challenge of our time. Green infrastructure can be part of the solution, but improving public health is hard work. It means being intentional about engaging community, locating sites for green infrastructure, and selecting designs that improve physical activity, mental health, social cohesion, air quality, and other health factors.
The new guide includes:
a summary of evidence linking time in green spaces to improved health
a primer on key terms used in health care and green infrastructure
a method to identify community health needs relative to green infrastructure
community engagement practices as a health intervention
green infrastructure siting and design guidelines
health and outdoors action framework
The Health and Outdoors Action Framework outlines the beginnings of a strategy for accelerating positive health and conservation outcomes for all Oregonians by increasing the presence of, access to, and use of parks, nature, and the outdoors in communities facing inequities. The recommendations in the framework are based on current research and evidence, ideas from interviews and group work sessions, and the experience of the planning team.
In addition to the full document, we also have a two-page version that provides a high-level overview for easy sharing.
Members of our network were involved in putting together a Research Agenda for Environmental Health Perspectives that collects research proving the connection between the outdoors and improved health outcomes for over 20 health indicators. This tool is an easy way to have the research at your fingertips so you can help make the case for your organization and communities that outdoor work is health work. For our health partners, the research agenda can help demonstrate the need for outdoor time as part of holistic care plans for individual and community health.
Guideline for incorporating health into outdoor education
Primarily designed for Oregon's school administrators, principals & teachers, as well as outdoor educators, this guideline helps show how you can incorporate health studies into your outdoor education programs. The guidelines offer several examples of how health messaging can be worked into a variety of outdoor-related lessons for K-12 students, including the environment and sustainability, outdoor equity, and interdisciplinary studies including STEM and art classes.