July is National Park and Recreation Month!

Did you know that July is National Park and Recreation month?  This year’s theme is “Get Wild” and I have to say, that’s not too hard with my two boys!  My family loves visiting our local parks and it’s a great way for the boys to have fun and get lots of exercise at the same time.  This year’s theme of “Get Wild” encourages families to play outisde and enjoy all the amazing and wonderful benefits that local parks have to offer.  

Local parks offer a variety of programs developed to inspire healthy, active lifestyles along with activities geared towards helping kids learn to appreciate nature and the environment in their local communities.  Check out the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) website to find a calendar of local events happening across the country, the official toolkit (includes the 2012 Official “Get Wild” Social Media Poster, a customizable calendar, and various graphics), information on the “Get Wild” Geocaching contest, and don’t forget to take the Get Wild pledge while you’re there!  

Pledge to GET WILD in your local park and rec areas this July! Get some activity, connect with nature, family, and friends, or discover new ways to have fun right in your community! Heading out to any official park, recreation area/facility, hiking or biking trail, playground, swimming pool, or natural area counts!

Take the pledge and receive this awesome badge to display on Facebook and Twitter:
Find out more about the “Get Wild” Geocaching on the NRPA Facebook page.  Here you’ll find instructions on how to participate in the real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Explore local park and recreation areas in your community and share your geocaching photos on Facebook to be automatically entered to win one of 5 Magellan GC eXplorist GPS Devices!

We use parks on a daily basis.  Truly.  I take the kids to the park while I walk around, soccer and baseball take place at parks, swimming classes take place at the Recreation Center, and parks are the perfect location for photo shoots!  I can’t imagine our lives without parks!  My boys require activity – lots of activity!  This is how I get them to sleep soundly at night :) 

Local parks are so important to communities and families.  Parks encourage kids to play outside and participate in recreation activities and help take a stand against childhood obesity.  Parks also help boost the economy by contributing to the value of surrounding residential parks.  I love living in a community with parks.  They sure make it convenient to entertain my kids and get some in some physical activity.
Here are some interesting facts about parks:
  • Park and recreation agencies are the second largest public feeder of children, behind schools; park and recreation agencies serve approximately 560,000,000 meals to children through summer and after-school programs each year.
  • Children that have easy access to a playground (less than 2/3 of a mile from their home) are approximately five times more likely to have a healthy weight than children that do not have easy access to playgrounds.
  • It is estimated that U.S. urban park trees alone remove 75,000 tons of air pollutants annually.  This translates into an economic benefit of $500 million each year.
Let’s all get 
this summer!

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of National Recreation and Park Association and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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