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Healthy Outdoor Communities is a groundbreaking initiative that promotes equitable access to nature and green space as an equalizer in the fight against health disparities in urban communities. 

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This collaborative program combines the strengths of community members with the resources of local nonprofits, parks departments, healthcare providers, libraries, multi-service centers, schools, higher education institutions, faith centers, and other neighborhood organizations. 

By working together, we are able to offer unique educational opportunities and outdoor activities that encourage healthier, more active lifestyles and have a lasting positive impact on wellbeing and resilience in our communities.

Our Vision

 

Healthy Parks, Healthy People, Healthy Communities

 

 

We see a future where local parks and green spaces serve as community hubs and provide equitable opportunities to improve and maintain good mental and physical health.  Parks and green spaces are an integral tool in maintaining good health and wellbeing and act as anchors for safer and more cohesive communities.  Children and families representing the rainbow of Houston’s rich ethnic and cultural diversity spend quality time together in green fields and fresh air instead of indoors hidden behind glowing screens.  Parks departments, government agencies, libraries, healthcare providers, schools, and other community pillars collaborate to create a tapestry of resources creating healthier and more resilient neighborhoods.  When everyone has more equitable access to health and nature, families are closer, children are happier, and life is better.

Our Mission

To empower children, youth, and families of underserved communities

to be proactive in their own health and wellbeing by utilizing

free, safe, and easily accessible neighborhood parks and green spaces.

 

We achieve this mission by educating children and families about their local parks and green spaces, teaching them a variety of outdoor skills and hobbies they can enjoy, and integrating additional health amplifying components such as health and nutrition education, literacy programs, and resilience building life-skills training.  Our partner schools, libraries, healthcare providers, higher education institutions, and community organizations incorporate the health-related benefits of time spent outdoors into their children, youth, and family programs that promote equitable access to green spaces and better health.

 

Introducing a Game Changer!

Over the next 5 years, with guidance from the Prevention Institute and the THRIVE Framework, our collaborative partners will work closely with community residents, schools, and organizations in the planning and programming phases of this incredible project. 

 

We encourage all members of our focus communities to participate, identify pressing community needs, and assist us in creating programming that will best serve the Acres Homes, Third Ward, and MacGregor neighborhoods.

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In support of our Healthy Outdoor Communities initiative, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health has awarded $800,000 in funding to support five years of work benefiting underserved children, youth, and families of color in:

Acres Homes

Third Ward / MacGregor

With this funding, we are able to truly unleash these communities to chase and achieve their dreams.  Imagine the possibilities!

 

Your Voice Matters

Everyone has the right to a voice in the decisions that affect their health and quality of life.  Our goal is to ensure those who have traditionally been excluded from such conversations are elevated and empowered to participate regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief, age, sexual orientation or identity, marital, housing, veteran, or special needs status, or any other historically excluded status.

 
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Collaborative Partners

Partners in the Healthy Outdoor Communities initiative make it all possible.  If your organization would like to participate in or sponsor this initiative, please contact us.

 
Your Voice Matters!
 
Join the Community Voice Committee for your neighborhood or school, and
help shape the programs that affect your health and wellbeing.
Which neighborhood do you live, work, play, or pray in?
Do you have children or youth under 25 years of age in your household?
How many generations live in your household?
Would you like to participate in a focused discussion group?
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