Visiter prescri-nature.ca
|

About

Learn more about PaRx.

PaRx is an initiative of the BC Parks Foundation, driven by health-care professionals who want to improve their patients’ health by connecting them to nature. Featuring practical resources like quick tips and patient handouts, its goal is to make prescribing time in nature simple, fun and effective.

Each prescriber who registers with PaRx will receive a nature prescription file customized with a unique provider code, and instructions for how to prescribe and log nature prescriptions. Patients can also access special offers from our proud partners to reduce their barriers to nature access across Canada.

Park Prescriptions began as a grassroots movement in the United States over a decade ago, and have now spread to countries around the world. We are proud to be Canada’s national, evidence-based nature prescription program.

Key Staff

Dr. Melissa Lem, MD, CCFP, FCFP

PaRx Director

Dr. Melissa Lem is a Vancouver family physician who also works in rural and northern communities within Canada. Also President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, she is an internationally recognized leader in the field of nature and health. A widely published writer, she was the resident medical expert on CBC TV’s hit lifestyle show Steven and Chris for four seasons and continues to appear on air as a medical columnist for CBC TV Vancouver. Dr. Lem was a 2020 Joule Innovation Grant recipient from the Canadian Medical Association, a 2021 World Parks Week Ambassador, winner of a 2022 Nature Inspiration Award from the Canadian Museum of Nature, and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia.
Jennie McCaffrey

Director of Engagement

Jennie is an experienced educator, facilitator and leader with a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Education and a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology from the University of British Columbia. She brings over 18 years of experience in the non-profit sector, specializing in leading strategic initiatives and collaborating with provincial and federal governments, Indigenous organizations, school districts and industry. Jennie works to change behaviours and empower people to protect and connect to nature at work, at school or at play. The privilege and magic of growing up on the beaches of Kitsilano and spending summers camping and swimming in the Salish Sea have inspired a passion for the environment that Jennie strives to share with others every day.

Laura Hergott

PaRx Coordinator

Laura Hergott is the PaRx Coordinator for the BC Parks Foundation, managing the national nature prescription program. With a background in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Laura was drawn to PaRx by the evidence-based research backing nature prescriptions. In science, Laura was passionate about making cutting-edge research more accessible to the public. Now, she brings that passion to the BC Parks Foundation, hoping to make nature more accessible for others. In her spare time, Laura enjoys rock climbing in Squamish and hiking with her dog on the North Shore.

Partners and Endorsers

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Is PaRx available in my province or territory?

PaRx has officially launched in every province across Canada. Stay tuned for upcoming launches in the North.

Does PaRx have any volunteer or job opportunities available?

Please keep an eye out on the BC Parks Foundation's website for volunteer or career opportunities with PaRx.

I work with a major health or nature organization. How can I partner with PaRx?

Please get in touch via our Contact page or send us an email at parx@bcparksfoundation.ca to explore a possible partnership.

How many healthcare providers are participating in PaRx?

There are over 13,000 regulated healthcare professionals registered to prescribe nature through the PaRx program, including almost 7% of all practising physicians in Canada.

Patients

How do I join the PaRx program?

In order to participate in our program, patients must receive a nature prescription from a registered PaRx prescriber enrolled in our program. If your healthcare provider is not registered with us, consider telling them about PaRx during your next regularly scheduled appointment.

I don’t have a family doctor. How can I receive a PaRx prescription?

Note that any regulated health professional in any province in Canada can prescribe nature through our program. This includes family doctors working in regular practices or walk-in clinics, other physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and more.

Is my healthcare provider registered in this program? Can I access a list of PaRx prescribers in my area?

Unfortunately we are unable to share lists of prescribers or connect patients to prescribers in our program due to privacy reasons.

I received a PaRx prescription from my doctor. What do I do next?

To enrol in our program and be entered into our monthly prize draw, click the Log Your PaRx button on our website and fill out the online form using your healthcare provider’s PaRx code and your own email address. If you have been prescribed a Parks Canada Discovery Pass, be sure to check the “I was prescribed a Parks Canada Discovery Pass” box.

How can I receive a Parks Canada Discovery Pass?

Licensed healthcare professionals registered in the PaRx program may prescribe Parks Canada Discovery Passes to patients they feel will benefit most from them during the course of regular medical appointments scheduled for pre-existing health conditions. Please do not book an appointment with a primary care provider solely to request a prescription for a pass, as this is not a visit that would be covered under provincial health insurance. Note that passes are prioritized for adults who live close to Parks Canada administered sites—youth 17 and under enjoy free access—and also for those for whom the cost of a pass would be a significant barrier to nature access.

I don’t live near a Parks Canada administered location. Where else can I use my PaRx prescription?

PaRx is on a mission to connect people to nature across Canada, no matter where they live. In addition to the positive health effects of spending time in nature you’ll enjoy with a PaRx prescription, we’re also collaborating with other nature-based organizations to offer free admission, discounts and other benefits to reduce their barriers to nature access. Find a list of PaRx Partner Offers by region here.

I logged my PaRx prescription a while ago and haven’t heard anything. What do I do now?

First, please check your Spam or Junk folder in case an email from us has ended up there. If you’ve logged a PaRx prescription that includes a Parks Canada Discovery Pass, review our step-by-step guide to ensure you haven’t missed any steps. Lastly, you can Contact Us via our website to check on the status of your prescription.

How can I receive a Nature Pass for the Canadian Museum of Nature?

You can receive free admission for one day at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario, for you and your family (5 people total, up to 3 adults) when you present your PaRx prescription and matching ID at the museum’s Admission Desk. Admission to special exhibitions is included.  

For questions about visits to the Canadian Museum of Nature, please consult the Canadian Museum of Nature website. The website provides detailed information on hours of operation, what visitors can expect, and what services may be available.

Prescribers

Who can register to become a prescriber? Is my health profession regulated?

Any healthcare professional governed by a regulatory body or college in Canada can choose to register to become a PaRx prescriber. This varies between provinces and territories. Please check with your healthcare association to determine if your health profession is currently regulated in your jurisdiction.

How do I prescribe a Parks Canada Discovery Pass to my patient?

Prescribers can prescribe 1 Parks Canada Discovery Pass per month, which gives patients unlimited access to over 80 national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas for a year. Please prioritize patients who live close to Parks Canada administered sites, and for whom the cost of a pass would be a barrier to nature access. Note that youth 17 and under enjoy free access to Parks Canada administered locations. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to prescribe a Parks Canada Discovery Pass here.

I’ve already prescribed one Parks Canada Discovery Pass this month. What other benefits do patients receive with a general PaRx prescription?

PaRx is on a mission to connect people to nature across Canada, no matter where they live. In addition to the positive health effects of spending time in nature patients enjoy with a PaRx prescription, we’re also collaborating with other nature-based organizations to offer free admission, discounts and other benefits to reduce their barriers to nature access. Find a list of PaRx Partner Offers by region here.
Please note that although you can only prescribe one Parks Canada Discovery Pass per month, general PaRx prescriptions are unlimited.

My entire healthcare team would like to register for PaRx. Can we register in bulk?

Any team of healthcare professionals can register together in bulk, rather than individually on our website here. To get started, please get in touch with us via our Contact page or send us an email at parx@bcparksfoundation.ca.

Can multiple prescribers use the same PaRx code if they are a part of the same healthcare team?

PaRx offers group codes for healthcare teams made up of multiple prescribers. The group prescription file can easily be added to your EMR, so all prescribers can access it. Please note, a group code can only be used to write nature prescriptions that do not include a Discovery Pass. If a prescriber would like to prescribe a Discovery Pass to their patient, they must use their unique provider code instead of the group code.

Parks Canada Discovery Passes

Where can I use my Discovery Pass?

The Parks Canada Discovery Pass gives you unlimited access to over 80 national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas for a year. Click here for a list of these locations in your region. For more information about the Discovery Pass, please visit: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/admission.

What should I do once I’ve received my Discovery Pass?

First, sign your Discovery Pass immediately so the pass is valid. When you enter a Parks Canada administered site, the Discovery Pass should be hung from the rear-view mirror of the vehicle with the date facing forward, or it can be placed on the front driver side dashboard with the date facing up. If you are motorcycling or bicycling through a national park, you must produce your pass at the gate or upon request by a Parks Canada team member. The Discovery Pass must also be presented in person at the admission kiosk of a national historic site.

The Parks Canada website provides detailed information on hours of operation, what visitors can expect, how to prepare for a visit and what services may be available. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the website before they travel.

Can you send or email me a digital Discovery Pass?

The Parks Canada Discovery Pass is a physical pass that we mail to you, so we are unable to provide a digital copy of it. A physical pass needs to be shown at the gate or upon request by a Parks Canada team member.

Can I upgrade my Adult Parks Canada Discovery Pass to a Family/Group Pass?

As part of our partnering agreement with Parks Canada, PaRx prescribers can prescribe one Adult Parks Canada Discovery Pass per month, not a Family/Group pass. Note that youth 17 and under enjoy free access to Parks Canada administered locations.

Can you answer my question about a Parks Canada administered site?

For questions about visits to Parks Canada administered places, please consult the website of the specific place you are planning to visit. The Parks Canada website provides detailed information on hours of operation, what visitors can expect, how to prepare for a visit and what services may be available. Visitors are asked to plan ahead by checking the website before they travel.

My Discovery Pass expired. Is it automatically renewed?

Your nature prescription is meant to be lifelong. However, if you would like a new Parks Canada Discovery Pass, please ask your healthcare provider to issue you a new PaRx prescription along with a Parks Canada Discovery Pass, and check the “I was prescribed a Parks Canada Discovery Pass” box when logging your prescription on our website.

Acknowledgments


Traditional Indigenous ways of knowing, which include Natural or First Laws that view human and ecosystem health as deeply interconnected, have recognized the importance of connecting to the land since time immemorial. PaRx acknowledges that its work in a modern Western medical context builds on these ways of knowing and healing.

PaRx is grateful to UBC medical students Jennifer Brazeau, Mitchell Figura, Ola Lemanowicz, Peter Singh and Xuan Zhao for their work to create evidence-based resources for PaRx, and Emma Griggs for her work as web developer.

We also acknowledge Nature and Forest Therapy of Canada, whose members have generously volunteered their time to connect health professionals across Canada to nature to improve their health and well-being.

Heading 1

Heading 2?

Heading 3

This is a regular paragraph.

This is heading 4

This is heading 6.
Heading 5 is team bio paragraphs.

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

Italic text is like this.

This is how we style links in rich text elements.

This is a pull quote.

Photo quote

Want to learn even more about the role parks play in our health?Take a look.

Why Nature

Get Started

Want to start prescribing or enjoying the health benefits of nature? Click Get Started.