By now the facts are clear: spending time in nature improves physical and mental health. The Healthy Parks, Healthy People: Bay Area (HPHP: Bay Area) initiative aims to increase opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing of all Bay Area residents, especially those with high health needs, through regular use and enjoyment of parks and open space.
Marin County Parks, as an HPHP: Bay Area partner, is working to expand the public’s knowledge, awareness, use, enjoyment, and appreciation of how parks and recreation resources can contribute to improved health and the reduction of chronic diseases in adults, children, and families.
Starting June 2013, Marin County Parks and other participating agencies will offer regular activities and outings to introduce visitors to safe, low-impact physical activity in nature. Health and social service providers will refer their patients (particularly those who’ve been physically and/or socially inactive) to regularly scheduled events in any Bay Area county. On the first Saturday morning of each month, selected parks in each county will welcome new visitors with a variety of group activities such as stretching exercises, nature walks, farm tours, and bird walks. Participants are encouraged to explore their surroundings and meet others!
The Marin County Parks and Open Space Volunteer Program engages a diverse cross-section of Marin residents in the active stewardship of parks and open space lands and facilities. We know that effective land stewardship involves best land management practices, commitment, and partnering with other organizations as well as with members of our neighboring communities.
We have five programs offering a variety of opportunities for everyone, no matter your age, skills, or availability.
Community Volunteer Days is the most popular program and is a great way to get started.
The Environmental Stewardship Program is for devoted individuals or groups who want to take care of a park, preserve, or specific habitat restoration project.
Similar to the Sheriff’s Neighborhood Watch program, our Park Watch and Trail Watch/Mounted Patrol are for citizen volunteers who act as ambassadors of the Department, informing our rangers of the day-to-day park and preserve conditions as well as providing outreach to visitors.
The Trail Maintenance Team is for individuals who want to help the Road and Trail Crew maintain Open Space District roads and trails.