We know how much nature matters – and we know you do too! That’s why Ontario Parks asked you for your opinion last year during our Healthy Parks Healthy People (HPHP) consultation.
And you responded!
We received more than 2,500 responses from researchers, members of the healthcare sector, environmental groups, Indigenous organizations, educators, and members of the public!
We heard you
Most people we heard from already had a high awareness of the link between nature and health. This was great because it meant we got passionate answers from some of Ontario’s keenest nature-lovers!
You’re also super fans of Ontario Parks and the green spaces found in our province. And you were very supportive of programs and organizations that link parks and health.
What we heard most often
The responses we received covered a lot of ground. Some topics included the barriers we might bump in to when trying to get to nature, such as cost, transportation, and time.
Other themes included accessibility for diverse audiences, the need for more green spaces in Ontario — including in urban areas — and more programs like forest therapy walks and nature hikes.
We also heard a lot about the many other groups in Ontario that would like to be — or are already — involved in promoting nature and health.
One idea included creating an information network for these groups.
This would allow organizations to share ideas, new information, and work together to deliver health and nature programs.
Just like nature, humans are part of an intricate web, and we love the idea of staying connected with an HPHP community!
We know how important nature is. During the consultation, we got an amazing reminder that you do too!
The ideas we heard are being used to create a strategic plan to guide HPHP work for the coming years.
We can’t wait to continue to work with individuals and groups across Ontario. Together, we can help people learn more about how good nature is for their bodies and minds.
We can also make sure that people have the chance to spend time in the beautiful green spaces found across Ontario.