This Earth Month, we’re celebrating all the ways parks and recreation acts as a climate hero. Whether it’s a nature trail, urban park, eco-friendly recreation center or the park closest to you, these pieces of essential infrastructure have some pretty remarkable features.
- Climate-ready parks provide proven, cost-effective and sustainable environmental solutions. Urban parks can improve the environment, enhance stormwater management, reduce traffic noise and increase biodiversity.
- Park and recreation agencies are on the forefront of their communities’ emergency response. Not only do they support nature-based solutions that mitigate climate-related weather threats, they also transform recreation centers into emergency shelters, mobilize resources and support cleanup efforts.
- Local park and recreation agencies collectively manage more than 11 million acres of open space across the United States. That’s twice the size of New Jersey!
- Access to parks and other public open spaces promotes greater mental well-being. Parks provide opportunities for physical activity and connecting with the outdoors. Plus, green-space exposure in urban environments corresponds with lower mortality and better mental health.
- Parks lower ground temperatures with tree canopy, clean water, reduce flooding and contribute to healthier air.
*You can get more facts and further source information for these data points here
You can share all the ways parks and recreation is a climate hero by downloading our infographic and sharing it with your friends, neighbors and elected officials. Let them know that an investment in parks and recreation is an investment in healthier communities and sustainable climate solutions. Tag NRPA in your posts and use the hashtag #NRPAEarthMonth.
You also can celebrate Earth Month by simply visiting your local park! Check out your park and recreation agency’s website for opportunities to learn more about how your local parks act as climate heroes and for opportunities to volunteer, take a class and more.
If you’re a park and recreation professional, check out the many opportunities NRPA has for you this Earth Month in our blog.
The NRPA 2023 Earth Month campaign is sponsored by Merrell.