Since 1985, Americans have celebrated National Parks and Recreation Month. This July, find out everything your local parks have to offer by visiting playgrounds, recreation centers and local parks to find out what they have planned for July and throughout the year.
During Park and Recreation Month, try to explore “undiscovered” roles of local parks and recreation, like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming; senior programs; innovative health and wellness opportunities; community celebrations; outdoor education; flood mitigation; maintenance; and more!
Why celebrate our parks?
To find connections across communities: Access to parks is equally important as ensuring the presence of parks and has the power to connect communities. The concept of safe routes to parks considers the infrastructure required for a safe, connected system between parks, their access points, and surrounding infrastructure.
To support the environment: Parks play an important role in environmental health by cleaning water, preserving wildlife, and offering a refuge to humans and animals throughout the seasons.
To explore local ecosystems: Parks offer a lot more than meets the eye. Did you know that parks are not just plots of grass? Sports fields, beaches, trails, and many other spaces can be parks offering an abundance of fun-filled recreation opportunities.
Why get active outside?
To increase children’s chances of success in school: Kids with access to safe parks and playgrounds are more likely to engage in physical activities — and it’s proven that kids who are physically active do better in school. Get them up, out of the house and away from that digital device for a few hours.
To contribute to the maintenance of a healthy weight: Local parks and recreation departments increase access to nutritious food options and promote physical activity.
To have a more positive outlook: Spending time outdoors not only reduces stress and improves mental health, but exposure to nature improves creativity, decreases stress hormones, and calms aggression.
Here’s how you can get involved today:
– Visit your local park and recreation agency’s website
– Follow your local park and recreation agency on social media
– Sign up to receive your local park and recreation agency’s email newsletters
– Talk to an employee at your local park or recreation center
– Volunteer at your local park or recreation center