NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- WebMD, the leading source of health information, has joined forces with more than 20 parks to improve public spaces and encourage physical activity. Nearly 1,000 WebMD employees volunteered at parks near WebMD offices in eight U.S. cities, as well as London, as part of the company's first annual global Impact Day initiative, WebMD Moves.
WebMD Moves is the company's first major volunteer effort through its new corporate social responsibility program, WebMD Cares. WebMD Cares is focused on improving health and wellness through positive action in our communities through grant giving, volunteerism, and an annual Impact Day activity.
"At WebMD, we believe in giving back to our local communities through activities that will contribute to the health and well-being of the population," said WebMD CEO Steve Zatz. "Our first company-wide global Impact Day focused on improving public spaces in partnership with local organizations, and we are confident our efforts will have a positive impact on those who live and work nearby."
And the impact is real. "Numerous studies have shown the holistic and emotional benefits of improving and enhancing active green spaces," explains Michael Smith, MD, Chief Medical Editor at WebMD. "Our Impact Day activities are not only promoting health through physical activity, but we are also enhancing social activity and enjoyment of the public parks, which are a valuable resource for residents' emotional and physical well-being."
WebMD volunteers engaged in public space renewal, including tree care, trail maintenance, mulching, invasive plant removal, painting and renovating playgrounds, and restoring and installing raised gardens. Nonprofit partners in these efforts include the following:
ASHBURN, VA - Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve
Banshee Reeks spans 725 acres, nestled in the heart of Loudoun County, VA. Park visitors can explore diverse fields, hardwood forests, wetlands, and riverine habitat. There are over 20 miles of maintained trails, with ample opportunities for wildlife observation.
ATLANTA - Park Pride
Park Pride is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that engages communities to activate the power of parks. Working with 90 local Friends of the Park groups, Park Pride provides leadership and services to help communities realize their dreams for neighborhood parks that support healthy people, strong neighborhoods, vibrant business districts, a robust economy, and a healthy environment. Park Pride is active in green space advocacy and educating both civic leaders and the general public about the benefits of parks, and annually hosts the Parks and Greenspace Conference. Learn more about Park Pride at www.parkpride.org.
CHICAGO - Chicago Parks Foundation
The Chicago Parks Foundation is committed to being a diligent and accountable partner for the Chicago Park District. Founded in 2012, the foundation provides financial and program support for Chicago parks and park programs. Among the largest municipal park managers in the nation, the Chicago Park District manages more than 580 parks, 24 beaches, 11 museums, 10 harbors, and nine golf courses.
The Chicago Parks Foundation was created to maintain long-term stability and increase park use for Chicago community members at all socioeconomic levels. The foundation supports uniting families, keeping children safe, promoting healthy, active lifestyles, and preserving Chicago's urban green space.
DURHAM, NC - Durham Parks & Recreation
Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) helps the city play more by connecting it to fun, wellness, the outdoors, and lifelong learning. Guided by Durham's Strategic Plan, DPR strives to help helps residents discover, explore, and enjoy life with creative and challenging recreational choices that contribute to their physical, emotional, and social health.
INDIANAPOLIS - Indy Parks and Recreation
Serving 8.3 million people annually, Indy Parks connects communities by providing places and experiences that inspire healthy living, social engagement, and a love of nature.
Indy Parks offers 210 parks, 11,254 acres, 125 playgrounds, 155 sports fields, 130 miles of trails, 23 recreation centers and nature centers, 19 aquatic centers, 20 spray grounds, 13 golf courses, and four dog parks.
LONDON - Royal Parks Foundation
The Royal Parks Foundation is the charity that raises funds and awareness to support London's eight Royal Parks.
London's Royal Parks are 5,000 acres of urban parkland, home to hundreds of thousands of trees, plants, and wildlife, plus historic monuments, and they welcome more than 77 million visitors each year.
The government gives a grant for the day-to-day care and management of the lawns, flower beds, roads and paths -- keeping them safe and clean all year round. But that grant has just been cut by more than 25%, and there is little or no funding for sports, education, art, heritage restoration, or wildlife conservation projects.
That's where Royal Parks Foundation comes in. This small, energetic team of people works incredibly hard to raise funds and create a wide variety of innovative projects to help keep the Royal Parks open, beautiful and bursting with life for everyone to enjoy.
NEW YORK - New York Restoration Project
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a nonprofit organization driven by the conviction that all New Yorkers deserve beautiful, high-quality public space within walking distance of their homes. Since its founding in 1995 by Bette Midler, NYRP has planted trees, renovated gardens, restored parks, and transformed open space for communities throughout New York City's five boroughs. As New York's only citywide conservancy, it brings private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support, fortifying the city's aging infrastructure and creating a healthier environment for those who live in the most densely populated and least green neighborhoods.
PORTLAND, OR - Forest Park Conservancy
The mission of the Forest Park Conservancy is to protect and foster the ecological health of Forest Park, maintain and enhance the park's extensive trails network, and inspire community appreciation and future stewardship of this iconic urban forest as a gift for generations.
The conservancy fulfills this mission with a staff of seven full-time employees, seasonal part-time conservation technicians, and nearly 1,000 volunteers each year. It operates under a formal partnership agreement with the Portland Bureau of Parks & Recreation, the owner and manager of Forest Park.
SAN CLEMENTE, CA - San Clemente Watershed Task Force
The San Clemente Watershed Task Force is a grassroots citizens' group founded in 2004 in response to the effect of urbanization on the local watershed, including creeks, beaches, and the Pacific Ocean. The Task Force recognizes the watershed's value, and in that spirit, hopes to fulfill goals created through public discussions and monthly meetings.
For more information about WebMD Cares and WebMD's social responsibility platform, please visit http://wbmd.com/commitment.shtml.
WebMD Health Corp. is the leading provider of health information services, serving consumers, physicians, health care professionals, employers, and health plans through our public and private online portals, mobile platforms, and health-focused publications. The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList, Medscape Education, and other WebMD sites.
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SOURCE WebMD Health Corp.