Nature + Health Resources


The health and well-being of people and their communities are improved when people connect and thrive outdoors.  There are numerous studies that link our overall health with spending time outdoors.  When we play outside, our muscles grow stronger, our cardiovascular health is improved, our brains get smarter, and our self-esteem grows.  Time spent in nature also positively contributes to our mental well being, providing a respite from the stress of modern life.


Because of these trends, a growing number of healthcare providers are integrating practices that encourage children to spend more time outdoors to benefit their overall health.  The Children’s Forest of Central Oregon and our Nature and Health Committee are leading this effort in Central Oregon, and have developed the following resources to support healthcare providers.


Outdoor Family Resource Guide (summer/fall) – 2-sided handout providing free and affordable outdoor programs in Central Oregon, DIY activity ideas, and an overview of the health benefits of spending time outdoors.  Providers are welcome to print this document to provide to their patients.  Or, contact [email protected] to have copies delivered to your clinic.


Provider Handout – 2-sided handout providing tips for healthcare providers to promote outdoor time for their patients.


TRACK Rx – Providers seeing patients from Madras and Prineville can participate in the TRACK Rx program, as part of Kids in Parks.  Providers receive resources to prescribe outdoor time to their patients, and children can receive prizes for participating in the program.


Healthcare providers can access these resources at no cost.  If your clinic needs assistance or has questions, or you have interest in supporting this issue in our community, please contact [email protected].  We are always welcoming new members to our Nature and Health Committee.



Want to learn more about the connection between nature and health?  Check out these great resources.

Children and Nature Network

Oregon Health and Outdoors Initiative

National Environmental Education Foundation