Health/Wellness, including Healthy Foods and Green Management
- Concessioners within national parks support and will demonstrate to park visitors sustainable, healthy food strategies. Xanterra, one of the largest concessions in the parks, has a goal of buying 50 percent of sustainable food in all of their food outlets. Currently, sustainable food purchases make up 19.6 percent of its purchases.
- Nature is a healer; and people in the national parks movement should be part of the nation’s health care debate. National parks can play a valuable role in improving physical, mental health. The national parks can be vehicles to change that get kids outside again.
- Increase “Green Time” for children and decrease “Screen Time”. Of 70 million children in this country, only 7 million are already going outside and playing freely. Join the National Wildlife Federation’s initiative to get 10 Million more outside.
- Join with the American Pediatrics Association, which has endorsed a program to get kids into the parks.
- Reach out to kids at a young age; behavioral patterns are established very early.
- Offer walking and biking options that focus on communities that most need it, as well as public transportation.
- Ensure affordable public transit especially for underserved populations so they can gain access to public parks.
- A gray wave of baby boomers interested in staying active, volunteering, and enjoying health is approaching fast. The fastest growing demographic in the country is 90+. Parks need to be accessible to this group.
- Parks allow for sound biological and ecological systems. The health of parks is essential for the health of the planet, and the people, plants, and animals on the planet.
- The refuge that parks offer—the reduction of stress, the silence, the circadian rhythms of darkness, fresh air, clean water, the beauty, the ability to step outside the noisy chaos of the digital connected world, the permanence of these things when nothing else seems permanent, for spiritual renewal and inspiration-- are essential components of maintaining emotional health. For these reasons, we need national parks, and our health depends on them.
- DC: Allow concessioners to invest in green operations—a process now inhibited by contract terms, a lack of Park Service willingness to award Leasehold Surrender Interests (LSI) and more.
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What Do You Think?
Help us shape an action plan for the national parks’ second century. Please let us know whether we captured the right actions from the summit discussions and whether any are missing. Also please indicate which actions are of the highest priority and which actions the group you represent is willing to take on as a priority.
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