A partnership for PaRX: Developing a road map for evaluating and expanding implementation and sustainability of a national parks prescription program.

There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that time in nature has a wide range of health benefits. Both physical and mental health improve, even just temporarily, after time spent outdoors in a natural environment. This has led to the development of nature-based prescription programs. In Canada, a BC based initiative, PaRX is Canada’s first evidence-based nature prescription program. Licensed healthcare providers in Canada can register with the program and provide evidence-based prescriptions to their patients to spend more time in nature. Despite PaRX’s evidence-based design, the program itself has not yet been evaluated for its reach, usability, or effectiveness. Given the comprehensive health benefits of time spent in nature, we have assembled a team of researchers with a wide range of expertise including physical activity, mental health, neuroscience, and physiology. This team of researchers will partner with the BC Parks Foundation who deliver PaRX, and a licensed family physician to develop an evaluation strategy for the short- and long-term to ensure high-quality nature prescriptions that benefit health are available and accessible to residents of BC and throughout Canada for years to come.