Who doesn’t love a Friday? When it is Friday there is a palpable energy and anticipation of what’s to come as the traditional work week comes to a close and the weekend prepares for its debut.
This Friday – the first in October – will be filled with an added buzz. The buzz of Visit a Park Day!
Visit a Park Day is organized by the Young Professionals Network along with the National Recreation and Park Association as a way to encourage people everywhere to take a few minutes to visit a local, state, regional or national park to experience the benefits and to inspire many return visits.
A visit could simply include going for a walk or run, having a picnic, spotting wildlife, or taking part in a great park and recreation program you’ve never tried before.
During this day, park and recreation departments can share with their communities the benefits they provide and how they are critical to conservation efforts, improving health and wellness and connecting and serving all people in the community.
While there is a long list of benefits, here are four (in no particular order):
Parks and recreation attract businesses: Parks and recreation are critical to enhancing quality of life. Quality of life is a top priority to CEO’s when relocating businesses.
Parks and recreation increase property values: Numerous reports have shown that when parks are nearby property values increase and not only that, parks help attract tourism and can help increase local tax revenues.
Parks and recreation help improve public health: Parks and recreation support higher activity levels and aid in the reduction of obesity rates leading to reduced healthcare costs too.
Parks and recreation protect natural resources: They are an important way to promote and enable conservation from reducing storm water runoff to aiding in cooling urban areas. Parks and recreation are also educating communities, especially younger generations, on the importance of conservation and stewardship.
Let us know if you’ll be encouraging your community to Visit a Park. Remember the main goal is to keep the communication and appreciation for public parks flowing and generating support and excitement for the great things happening in all the communities throughout the U.S.
Share about Visit a Park Day in your community on social media using #VAPD !
Michael Huffstetler, CPRE, works in outdoor programs with the City of Atlanta and is involved in the Young Professionals Network helping to organize Visit a Park Day.