Agency Header

Parks, Trails, and Health

md12039598_w.jpgThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Park Service (NPS) have created a new tool to assist communities and we need your help spreading the word. Well-designed parks and trails can promote physical activity, reduce stress, and provide environmental benefits.

The Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook: A Tool for Planners, Parks and Recreational Professionals, and Health Practitioners is quick guide for incorporating public health considerations in the development and improvement of a park or trail. This tool can help start collaborative discussions about the health benefits of parks and trails and prepare for a health impact assessment (HIA).

You can find the workbook at: 

The tool includes information to help users find health data and learn about completed HIAs that included parks, trails, or greenways. It also includes case studies that pilot its use in Whatcom County, Washington, and a Mescalero Apache tribal area in New Mexico. The workbook consists of five sections:

            • Community health profile.
            • Site information.
            • Site planning (includes subsections on physical health and social and mental wellness).
            • Park and trail system planning.
            • Monitoring and evaluation.

The workbook was jointly developed by the CDC Healthy Community Design Initiative ( and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (  

Please direct any questions to Dee Merriam ( and Attila Bality (







Health Promotion and Chronic Disease
350 Capitol Street, Room 514  Charleston, WV 25301-3715
Ph: (304) 356-4193 Fx: (304) 558-1553