Parks & Public Health

Public Health for web

According to the 2023 Yellowstone County Community Health Needs Assessment:

  • Just 1 in 10 area adults meet the recommended physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes/week; 
  • 1 in 2 adults consume excessive screentime – a trend worse among seniors; 
  • 1 in 3 adults experience activity limitations of some kind due to a mental, physical, or emotional problem, compared to 1 in 4 nationally; 
  • 1 in 5 adults experience high-impact chronic pain; and 1 in 10 adults are socially isolated, again highest among our seniors. 
  • Approximately 16% of area adults and 10% of youth have asthma.

Trails, parks, and a multi-generational recreation center are each associated with improved physical health, mental health, positive social connections, and quality of life. 

Each of these community assets not only provides opportunities for active living – they also provide what public health professionals refer to as “pro-social” opportunities.

Opportunities where all residents, and particularly youth, can engage in positive, safe “play” are proven protective factors, a sort of “bubble wrap” against life’s many adversities. 

Pro-social activities made possible through healthy activated spaces, reduce stress, counteract adverse childhood experiences and peer pressure, reduce substance misuse, and improve our public safety.