Pathways to Pinebank Promontory (P2P)
P2P is a program designed and implemented by Community Caring Institute to improve health by increasing people’s exposure to nature. In the city, we are increasingly exposed to concrete and toxins. The access to nature and open spaces is decreasing, and often, people do not know about the bountiful natural resources available in the city. Parks help to improve health, by reducing stress, improving air quality, increasing exercise and community connections, and providing a calming aesthetic view.
Chronic diseases have increased tremendously in the past two decades, and one reason for this is a marked decrease in outdoor physical activity. These chronic health issues are more acute in minority and less advantaged groups. At times, outdoor environments are not conducive to even the simplest form of exercise- walking. Furthermore, as the ‘concrete jungle’ develops, there is increasingly less green space for people to enjoy, and often, people do not know of resources available to them or how to get to them. P2P attempts to provide information not only about the parks, but to motivate people to travel to parks on foot by making the walk to the park an event in itself.
P2P provides information on how to get to Jamaica Pond by walking different routes originating at different public transportation spots. It also provides information about the benefits of nature and about the neighborhoods through which people walk. CCI is promoting these pathways with other groups. In 2010, Gladys’ Senior in Action was the first group to complete the first pathway, and the group walked from Jackson Square-Jamaica Plain weekly for about two months. Seniors reported improved health, increased flexibility and elevated relaxation. This group showed and felt the benefits of walking in a short time, and you can too!