LENOX — Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries will partner with two South County community health centers to help share with their patients the healthful benefits of nature and the outdoors.
Support is being provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council through its Cultural/Social Rx initiative, a Mass Audubon announcement stated.
The wildlife sanctuaries will work with East Mountain Medical and MACONY Pediatrics, both located in Great Barrington, to support physical and mental health through connection with the natural world and guided activities that promote well-being, stress reduction, exercise and a sense of community.
The initiative calls for the Mass Audubon properties to provide rack cards, flyers, and other informational and engagement materials for the health centers to be made available to their patients and families. In turn, they will be allocated vouchers for free admissions, programs and other opportunities to visit the sanctuaries.
The Berkshire sanctuaries include Lime Kiln Farm in Sheffield, Pleasant Valley in Lenox, Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield, and Tracy Brook in Richmond.
Mass Audubon West Director Becky Cushing-Gop thanked the Massachusetts Cultural Council and said, “We are grateful to our partners who play an integral role connecting patients with our nature programming and membership opportunities. The idea that a patient could join weekly bird walks, happiness hikes, or canoe trips as part of a balanced wellness plan makes so much sense and we hope this partnership model will continue to grow.”