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November 8, 2013 
New Policy Statement on Nature, Health and Wellness is adopted by the American Public Health Association 

The American Public Health Association adopted a new policy statement this week on Nature, Health and Wellness. In order to aid in promoting healthy and active lifestyles, the new policy statement encourages land use decisions that prioritize access to natural areas and green spaces for residents of all ages, abilities and income levels; calls on public health, medical and other health professionals to raise awareness among patients and the public at-large about the health benefits of spending time in nature and of nature-based play and recreation;  urges such professionals to form partnerships with relevant stakeholders, such as parks departments, school districts and nature centers; and  calls for promoting natural landscaping. 


The new policy statement was developed by the American Public Health Association Environment Section's Nature and Health Committee, co-chaired by the National Environmental Education Foundation's Senior Director of Health & Environment, Leyla Erk McCurdy, and was adopted by the APHA Governing Council on November 5. To learn more about NEEF's efforts toward promoting nature, health and wellness, please visit


This brief description of the policy statement is not comprehensive and does not include every point, statement or conclusion presented in the policy statement. The full policy statement will be available at in early 2014. For more information on APHA's policy statements, email  

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The goal of the Health & Environment Program is to advance environmental knowledge among health professionals to improve the public's health with a special emphasis on children and underserved populations. Through a variety of initiatives, we facilitate the integration of environmental health into health care provider education and practice.
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