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Nova Scotians are not a healthy, active bunch. With 61% of adults considered overweight or obese and only 54% meeting basic daily physical activity levels, it is clear that Nova Scotians need to move more (Nova Scotia Health Authority, 2015). Physical activity, especially outdoor activities has immense benefits on both physical and mental health, as well as overall community well being (Maller et al., 2006). One way to help get people off the couch is to let them know what opportunities there are for outdoor recreation in their own area and give them ways to explore their own backyard.
Encouraging the population to explore the countless amounts of parks and protected areas that are readily available in the province can help get communities to play an active role in enjoying their environment. By promoting the accessibility of greenspace in Nova Scotia through our App, we can help build sustainable communities that can make for happier, and healthier residents.
Healthy Parks, Healthy People
The FindingGreen App allows its user to sort through a variety of green space all throughout Nova Scotia. The green spaces include National Parks, Protected Areas, and Wildlife. It's main objectives are:
- Provide information to Nova Scotia residents on where green space is located within the province
- Allow the user to filter through the different activities that are available throughout the areas
- Available driving and walking direction for users to understand how to get to their chosen space, along with the time it would take them
- Proximity tool that can enable the user to filter through distance from their location, showing only parks that within a buffer zone. This can be combined with the filter tool for the kinds of activities available.
Maller, C., Townsend, M., Pryor, A., Brown, P., & St Leger, L. (2006). Healthy nature healthy people: "contact with nature" as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations. Health Promotion International, 21(1), 45–54.
Nova Scotia Health Authority. (2015). Nova Scotia Health Profile, 2015. Nova Scotia Health. 34 pp.
Jamie Leigh Smyth: Currently a first year Master of Resource and Environmental Management candidate at Dalhousie University with background in Physical Geography and Geomatics. My past experiences and education have made me passionate about using spatial analysis in conservation system planning through active land and seascapes. I find excitement in analyzing data sets for constructing digital maps through GIS technologies to help decision-makers respond quickly to new information
Lama Farhat: Currently a 4th year Environmental Science student at Dalhousie University. I am passionate about environmental justice issues, particularly those occurring in the middle east. I've spent the last few months working at the GIS centre assisting students and faculty, and I'm currently completing a research project on Wildfire Management using GIS. In my free time, I organize and manage events and workshops for international students on campus
Caitlin Cunningham: Caitlin is a PhD candidate at Dalhousie University who loves conservation biology, ethics and maps and is currently trying to build a thesis around all three. Initially she got into GIS because someone offered her free pizza. 10 years later and she's still at it, using GIS in both educational and professional settings, though she still won't say no to free pizza.