FRIENDS OF OPA
OPA takes great pride in partnering with other organizations to continue to spread awareness and work toward Protecting Tomorrow Today®. This page lists some of the upcoming events or programs these partners are hosting.
Trees for Life Project Recruitment
Canada's Year of the Garden 2022
Why 2022: Centennial anniversary of the Canadian Nurseries Landscape Association (CNLA) and also the centennial of the Canadian Horticultural Council.
For a more detailed presentation on the Year of the Garden 2022 project we are working on please visit the following link: https://gardenscanada.ca/year-of-the-garden/
PaRx Launches in Ontario
NATIONAL NATURE PRESCRIPTION PROGRAM, PaRx, LAUNCHES IN ONTARIO - Toronto, February 22, 2021
Growing up, and living and working in Toronto, cardiologist Dr. Sherryn Rambihar always felt more comfortable in the city. But with lockdown measures isolating them from family and friends, she and her family suddenly found themselves connecting to nature. Travelling beyond their neighbourhood in Midtown Toronto, they explored Ontario’s provincial parks for the first time, camping, bird-watching and stargazing.
“The more distance I had from hospital walls, the more I felt I could breathe freely,” says Rambihar. “Nature helps me adapt to the uncertainty I face in work and life, and grounds me in what’s real and important. I truly believe my children will remember this pandemic time as exhilarating and memorable because of the time we’ve spent out in nature.”
Rambihar’s new appreciation for nature’s positive effects on her wellbeing is part of a movement that was growing even before the pandemic. Nature prescriptions were named one of the top eight global wellness trends in 2019, and are being implemented around the world. The UK and other countries are now investing in park prescription pilots to help address mental and physical health problems and the resulting strain on their health care systems and economies.
In November 2020 the BC Parks Foundation launched PaRx, Canada’s first national nature prescription program, starting in British Columbia. Winning a prestigious Joule Innovation prize from the Canadian Medical Association, it has garnered widespread enthusiasm, with almost 500 prescribers now registered.
Today PaRx officially launches in Ontario. With support from major health partners like the Ontario College of Family Physicians, Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario and Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals will be able to start prescribing doses of nature to their patients.
“It makes me incredibly happy to launch PaRx in Ontario where my nature prescription journey began,” says Dr. Melissa Lem, a family physician and Director of PaRx. She prescribed nature for the first time to a University of Toronto student battling Attention Deficit Disorder over a decade ago, and since then has become an advocate for the nature-health connection, championing it in her practice, at medical conferences and guided tours in parks.
“There's a strong and growing body of research on the health benefits of nature time, from better immune function and life expectancy to reduced risk of heart disease, depression and anxiety,” states Dr. Lem, who believes governments should designate parks an essential part of the health care system.