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April 13, 2024

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Tennessee’s Healthy Parks Healthy Person Program Receives National Recognition

The free app allows participants to use their mobile devices to earn points at any Tennessee park while getting outside and being active.

Healthy Parks Healthy Person, an app that rewards park goers for participating in outdoor activities, has received a national award recognizing its contribution in advancing and promoting the health benefits of nature through technology.

The legacy program of Tennessee State Parks partnered with Tennessee Department of Health in 2017 to develop the app. In July 2022, Healthy Parks Healthy Person became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

“More than 11,000 Tennesseans use this app to take their health into their own hands and enjoy Tennessee’s beautiful public lands,” said Stacey Levine, the program’s executive director. “The program is providing incentives for people to get outside and improve their health while creating new stewards for our parks.”

In October, Tennessee State Parks showcased the app at the national SHIFT Summit in Fort Collins, Colo., where the app received the SHIFT Award. GP RED, a national non-profit, sponsors the annual summit where professionals share experiences and ideas for linking humans to nature.

Teresa Penbrooke, director of GP RED’s Healthy Communities Research Group, praised the app for promoting outdoor activity as a preventive health measure.

What does Healthy Parks Healthy Person do?

The free app allows participants to use their mobile devices to earn points at any Tennessee park while getting outside and being active. App users can redeem their points for rewards, from hammocks to backpacks. The program includes a Park Prescription feature so healthcare providers can prescribe outdoor activity as part of patient’s healthcare regimen.

“I am so proud this app keeps making a significant impact on the health and well-being of Tennesseans,” said TDH Commissioner Dr. Morgan McDonald, MD, FACP, FAAP. “Going on five years strong, the program is paying dividends in healthier lifestyle options for Tennesseans and also in encouraging an appreciation of the beauty in our communities and state.”

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About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.