July is National Park & Recreation Month
It’s time to recognize the importance of parks and recreation in establishing and maintaining quality of life and in contributing to the physical, economic, and environmental well-being of communities.
What is National Park and Recreation Month?
Americans have celebrated National Park and Recreation Month during July since 1985. During National Park and Recreation Month, individuals and organizations can promote the benefits of local parks and recreation centers to communities and encourage people to get outside, explore local parks, and enjoy outdoor activities.
Why celebrate parks?
- To find connections across communities: Considering 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 a host of 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 kids who are physically active do better in school.
- 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 reduces stress and improves mental health. Exposure to nature improves creativity, decreases stress hormones, and calms aggression.
Related ResourcesPower of Parks infographic
Why are parks so important? Learn about the National Recreation and Park Association’s Power of Parks infographic.