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WELCOME TO HEALTHY PARKS, HEALTHY PEOPLE

George Price on the beachThe Healthy Parks, Healthy People movement has been adopted by the National Park Service as part of its Centennial in 2016. If you visit Washington, D.C., you will see it already in place along the National Mall and the C&O Canal in Georgetown.

But what better place than Cape Cod to truly celebrate the marriage of nature, community and healthy living.

The Cape Cod National Seashore is unique within the U.S. park system because of its intimate and intricate connection with our community. Its 44,000 acres wind through and around Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Chatham and Orleans. It significantly influences the coastal environment of neighboring Chatham and Orleans.

It is a magnet for Cape Codders from the Outer, Lower, Mid and Upper Cape for swimming, kayaking, hiking, sailing, surfing and fishing.

Town and county officials, the business community and park management work year-round to protect the park’s natural resources while assuring access to residents, seasonal residents, visitors and employees.

That is why we are so excited about the partnership between the National Seashore and Cape Cod Healthcare, Cape Cod’s largest employer and the umbrella for our two hospitals, the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, outpatient facilities from Bourne to Harwich and Emerald Physicians.

Our Cape Cod Healthcare Team and the National Seashore’s staff stress the benefits of outdoor exercise and even have a “Park Prescription” program that doctors are prescribing for their patients.

The need for such a connection between nature and your health is dramatic when looking at our population on Cape Cod. The age of our residents is the oldest of any county in Massachusetts. As everywhere across the United States, we are facing an increase of major health problems associated with weight, heart disease, diabetes, childhood obesity and hypertension.

Here at Cape Cod National Seashore, we invite you to explore the wide range of venues and activities that will get your heart and spirit pumping.

For Cape Cod Healthcare, this is a unique opportunity to reach out to our community about the critical importance of physical activities for better health at every age – from young people to retirees.

This field guide is designed to help you become a vital part of the Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative. Learn how you can obtain your personal PASSPORT to walk the National Seashore while monitoring and improving your health.