Canadian physicians can now prescribe free national park passes as part of medical treatment

In British Columbia, licensed health-care professionals can prescribe free national park passes to patients as part of medical treatment. Normally, a Parks Canada Discovery Pass is $72 per year. What a fine idea. From Global News:

"We have a standard recommendation, based on the latest research, that patients spend at least two hours a week in nature and at least 20 minutes each time," said Dr. Melissa Lem, family physician and PaRx director.

"So this is all about breaking down those barriers to access to nature."[…]

"There's this huge body of research showing that nature time can improve all kinds of different physical and mental health conditions, from diabetes and heart disease to ADHD and depression," she explained.

"But for those Parks Canada Discovery Passes, we're asking our prescribers to prioritize patients who live close to national parks, historic sites or marine conservation areas, and also people who might have trouble affording an annual pass."

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