Park Rx: A Prescription for a Day in the Park!

The South Dakota Department of Health, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and SDSU Extension are teaming up with doctors and healthcare providers to encourage physical activity through the Park Rx project.

The project encourages healthcare providers to prescribe exercise – and when they do – patients can take their Park Rx to any South Dakota State Park and turn it in for a FREE pass for the day. Patients can also turn in the pass that same day and receive a discounted annual pass to encourage year long activity.

The trend to prescribe physical activity is sweeping the nation and we want healthcare providers in South Dakota to sign up and get their patients moving.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Fill out the form below.
  2. If you’re a patient, Park Rx information will be sent to the provider you list, encouraging them to sign up.
  3. If you’re a healthcare provider, an information packet with Park Rx pads will be mailed to you.

Park Rx Requests:

Are you a healthcare provider?

Questions? Contact Nikki Prosch (nikki.prosch@sdstate.edu)
*required fields

Spread the word!

  1. Talk to your friends and family and tell them how to get their own Park Rx.
  2. Download this flyer. Show it to your doctor or healthcare provider and ask if they are participating in the Park Rx project.
  3. Plan an event in your local community promoting physical activity in parks – involve your school, healthcare facilities, community members, and local businesses. Consider planning your event around National Park Rx Day.
  4. Visit a park near you.

Exercise is medicine for everyone!

Regular physical activity can:

  • improve muscular fitness
  • aid in prevention of falls
  • assist with weight management
  • improve cognitive function in older adults
  • prevent and help manage certain chronic diseases

Kids benefit too!
Many children and adolescents don’t get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Besides building strong bones and muscles, regular physical activity also decreases the likelihood of developing obesity and risk factors for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Plus, exercise may give a boost in positive mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. If you’re ready to promote youth physical activity, download the Youth Physical Activity Recommendations fact sheet to get started.

Any regular physical activity is beneficial, but doing it while in a park is even better! Outdoor activity improves mental and physical well-being more than indoor activity and spending time in nature is associated with better cognitive development in schoolchildren.

Download the Park Rx infographic and share and display it everywhere for a little extra motivation.

Here’s the buzz about Park Rx:
Park Rx is sweeping the nation! As seen on National Geographic and Scientific American!


The South Dakota Park Rx project aligns with the vision of the Exercise is Medicine® initiative. The goal is to make physical activity and exercise a standard part of global disease prevention and treatment. Our goal is to increase assessment and prescription of physical activity. Park Rx is a great way to encourage physical activity for your patients.

For a complete listing of South Dakota State Parks and to find the ones closest to you visit South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks.

For more information about exercise assessment and prescription, please visit ExerciseIsMedicine.org

ParkRx.org provides information about the national park prescription movement as well as the incredible physical, mental, and social benefits of exercise in nature.

To find out more about the recommended levels of physical activity, talk with your doctor and visit Health.gov