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Ontario’s provincial parks will be open to the public free of charge on July 15 this year for all day-use visitors, as part of the world-wide Healthy Parks Healthy People movement.
Started in Australia, Healthy Parks Healthy People reinforces and encourages the connections between a healthy environment and a healthy society.
Many Ontario parks will be offering a number of fun activities on July 15, and throughout the year, including:
- Yoga on the Beach at Killbear Provincial Park
- Exploring the scenic shores of Lake Superior at Neys Provincial Park
- Taking a guided hike around Kettle’s Lake at Awenda Provincial Park
- Relaxing and rejuvenating with forest therapy and traditional healing at Quetico Provincial Park
- Enjoying some games from the past with Pioneer Olympics at Inverhuron Provincial Park
Research shows access to nature and green space plays a vital role in physical and mental health, well-being and development. For example:
- Playing in natural environments is essential to children’s development of observation, problem-solving, reasoning, creativity and imagination
- Contact with nature has restorative properties, increasing energy and improving feelings of vitality and focus
- Time outside lifts levels of Vitamin D, which is essential for calcium absorption and can help mitigate several diseases and mental health issues
- Spending time outdoors is linked to increased work productivity and creativity, and decreased levels of stress and anxiety. – CINEWS