Since 1985, Americans have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote the importance of parks and recreation in health and wellness, conservation and social equity, and to recognize the thousands of park and recreation employees that maintain our nation’s local and community parks.
Through efforts by NRPA, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an official resolution for Park and Recreation Month in 2009.
Park and recreation agencies across the country are recognizing the month with summer programs, events, contests, commemorations and celebrations.
Park and recreation services are vital for our communities — from protecting open space and natural resources, to helping fight obesity, to providing activities and resources for all walks of life — Park and Recreation Month encourages everyone to reflect on the exponential value parks and recreation bring to communities.
This July we’re celebrating the power of play. Play is a vital part of our mental well-being, physical health and personal interactions.
Play is important and it’s going to happen in parks because local parks and recreation facilities are the accessible places for all people to play. Parks are ideally suited as the places where all people can play — regardless of ability.
An obvious benefit of play is that it increases physical activity and mental agility. Parks make fitness fun through the use of outdoor exercise equipment, fun classes, sports leagues and so much more.
74% of children don’t get enough daily exercise — encouraging active play is a great way to get kids (and adults) more physically active.
NRPA encourages all people that support parks and recreation to share why they think play is so important with the hashtag #PlayOnJuly.
This July, NRPA will host a weekly contest encouraging people to show us why play is so important in their lives. Visit www.nrpa.org/July for more information on how to participate. Entries can be submitted via the hashtag #NRPAPlayChallenge.