In Northeastern Pennsylvania, our parks are superheroes. Our parks, trails and wildernesses sustain the health of the local environment and have the unparalleled potential to solve one of our region’s most pressing health concerns: poor mental health.

Consider this: For years, residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania have reported higher than average numbers of mentally unhealthy days each month, yet even just 15 minutes of outdoor exercise can improve confidence and mood, sharpen memory, and fight anger, anxiety and depression.

Against this backdrop, was born. At SuperParks, we’re calling on area residents to leverage some of our region’s biggest assets, our parks, trails, and wildernesses, to chip away at one of our biggest challenges, poor mental health. By hiking, biking or exercising in Boulder Field, Lake Wallenpaupack, Seven Tubs Nature Area, Hawk Mountain, or another SuperPark near you, you can improve your own mental health. What’s more, you’ll also help us Fight the StressMonster by doing your part to improve the collective mental health of all of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

To get involved, consider joining a local outdoor adventure group or advocating for parks, trails and wildernesses near you.

Of course, we recognize not every mental health problem is solvable with a little bit — or even a lot of bit — of exercise. That’s why we are also working to reduce stigma and encourage those in need of help to seek help, by linking them to a list of area resources.

Along the way, we hope to improve both residents’ physical health and the health of our environment, too.

Together, we can defeat the StressMonster.