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Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - Pioneer Press: Minnesota DNR allies with HealthPartners to prescribe outdoor activity for patients

Published by Pioneer Press on on October 6, 2017:

A pilot project between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and HealthPartners aims to prescribe outdoor fun for patients and families.

At HealthPartners clinics and hospitals in the St. Croix River Valley, physicians have issued “PowerUp in the Parks” prescriptions — a guide to local parks and outdoor activities with an accompanying written recommendation — to families at well-child visits.

Program coordinators hope the project will remind families to be active in outdoor settings.

“The prescription really is for an hour of play, to help encourage kids and families to get outdoors and play for at least an hour a day,” said Stephanie Kovarik, program coordinator.

Health providers began distributing the park prescriptions in early September. The program will go until the end of October.

The first free event will be held Saturday.

The outdoor activity day will be held at William O’Brien State Park — 20 minutes north of Stillwater on Highway 95 — from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will feature hiking, biking, kayaking, geocaching and more.

Bus transportation will be provided from Stillwater Medical Group, with riders receiving free park entry. A $7 park entrance fee will apply to attendees who drive to the event.

Those interested in registering for the outdoor activity event should visit A second event will be held Oct. 28.

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