Greening Health: The Role of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism in Health Promotion

Authors

  • Daniel Dustin University of Utah
  • Chris Zajchowski University of Utah
  • Elise Gatti University of Utah
  • Kelly Bricker University of Utah
  • Matthew T. J. Brownlee University of Utah
  • Keri Schwab California Polytechnic and State University, San Luis Obispo

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2018-V36-I1-8172

Keywords:

biomimicry, ecology, health, health promotion, parks, recreation, tourism

Abstract

In this paper we describe the role of parks, recreation, and tourism in health promotion. We begin by proposing a new definition of health that is rooted in an ecologically based worldview. Our definition sees human health and environmental health as being inextricably intertwined. Indeed, we see them as being one in the same. We then discuss ecological insights rooted in biomimicry that illuminate the kinds of contributions parks, recreation, and tourism professionals can make to health promotion. This application requires us to see ourselves, in the words of Aldo Leopold, as “plain members and citizens of a larger community of life” (Leopold, 1949, p. 224), citizens who recognize that we have much to learn from other species about how to live our lives in a manner that ensures a sustainable future for us all. We then place the principles of biomimicry into a larger global context by explicating a model of ecologically-based health promotion through which park, recreation, and tourism professionals might better understand how the work they do contributes to health promotion. We offer two examples--one international and one local—of what this work looks like in practice, emphasizing how they reflect the principles of biomimicry and an ecological model of health promotion. Finally, we invite readers to ponder the implications of what we propose for the work they do in parks, recreation, and tourism.Subscribe to JPRA

Author Biographies

Daniel Dustin, University of Utah

Department of Health, Kinesiology, and RecreationProfessor

Chris Zajchowski, University of Utah

Department of Health, Kinesiology, and RecreationDoctoral Candidate

Elise Gatti, University of Utah

Department of Health, Kinesiology, and RecreationDoctoral Candidate

Kelly Bricker, University of Utah

Department of Health, Kinesiology, and RecreationProfessor and Program Director 

Matthew T. J. Brownlee, University of Utah

Department of Health, Kinesiology, and RecreationAssistant Professor

Keri Schwab, California Polytechnic and State University, San Luis Obispo

Department of Experience Industry ManagementAssistant Professor

Published

2018-03-06