Mental health initiative, greenspace, to feature hearts painted within Cazenovia, Delaware and Riverside Park to provide special socially distant areas for park users to connect with the calm of nature
With fall foliage starting to peak and temperatures cooling, The MolinaCares Accord and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy are proud to announce “Peace in the Parks,” a new partnership that provides a safe, socially distant space for rest, respite and connecting with nature.
In honor of World Mental Health Day (Saturday, Oct. 10), the conservancy will spray-paint hearts in three different locations in Cazenovia, Delaware and Riverside Park for the community to enjoy. Channeling the spirit and legacy of Olmsted, these spaces are designed to provide a peaceful spot to rest and give respite to anyone who wishes to soak up the benefits of being in outside.
The community is encouraged to step into a heart space for relaxation, reading, picnicking, cloud watching, listening to birds, meditating or any other activity that can support one’s mental wellbeing, especially during this time of social distancing.
Mental Illness Awareness week (Oct. 4-10) was established to educate and increase awareness of mental health and wellness needs in the community. The week concludes with World Mental Health Day on Saturday.
A press release said, “The last few months have been challenging with COVID-19 and the need to quarantine and separate, which can add to levels of stress, anxiety and depression. One of the most effective ways to improve mental health is to go outdoors. In fact, walking outside is proven to reduce depression and anxiety, while improving mood and self-esteem.”
“The MolinaCares Accord in New York is honored and excited to partner with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy on this meaningful initiative,” said Kristen Holdsworth, associate VP – marketing, sales, community engagement, for Molina Healthcare. “As a health plan, we are truly committed to improving the health, happiness, and well-being of our members and the communities we serve. Mental health awareness and understanding and providing support for those struggling with mental health challenges has never been so critical. Team Molina is dedicated to being at the forefront of this effort.”
“The conservancy appreciates our partnership with The MolinaCares Accord in creating this special awareness opportunity for our community, especially as we enter another change of season together,” said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director. “For many, our Olmsted parks have been the go-to happy place these past few months, and we encourage all users to continue their personal diligence and care for one another during these complicated and sensitive times.”
To learn more about “Peace in the Parks” or view maps of the heart locations, visit www.bfloparks.org/peace.