Sustainable DC
Built Environment

Experiencing Nature Safely


Being outside, especially in green spaces, has been shown to help with mental health (according to Harvard Medical School). Being outside increases our Vitamin D levels, encourages physical activity, increases happiness, and can promote healing.

97% of all District residents have a park within a 10 minute walk of their home. Sustainable DC's goal is to reach 100%. You can use the Department of Parks and Recreation's map of parks to see what hidden gems are near you to find a space where you can be outside and maintain your physical distancing.

Guidelines for staying safe and healthy while being outside

While being outside has lots of benefits, it’s very important to do so safely. Here are tips for being outside safely from

  • Stay at home if you are sick or you were recently exposed to someone with COVID19.
  • Practice social distancing. Keep six feet of distance between you and other people who are not in your household.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when around other people who are not in your household.
    • Masks are not recommended for children under two and those who experience difficulty breathing with masks.
  • Outdoor activities are preferred over indoor, however, it is important to understand that interacting with more people in any setting raises your risk, so it is important to follow social distancing and cloth face covering recommendations.
  • Bring your own water to minimize touching non-contactless water fountains.
  • Perform frequent hand hygiene (with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer).
  • Bring hand sanitizer with you from home.
    • Key times to perform hand hygiene include:
      • Before eating food
      • After using the toilet
      • Before and after putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
      • Before and after visiting playgrounds
      • Before and after participating in activities or events