Summer is a great season for staying active and taking advantage of all that the outdoors have to offer. My family definitely enjoys spending time outside by walking or biking around our neighborhood, swimming at the local pool or playing at our favorite park. Since children have an infinite supply of energy, it's healthy to encourage them to get outside and play whenever possible.
Riley loves running, jumping and climbing on all of the playground equipment at our local park and I appreciate how this regular activity increases her endurance, coordination and keeps her grinning from ear to ear. There's nothing better than to hear the laughs and squeals of delight from a child, and when we're outdoors it's a guarantee that these sounds will be heard.
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.
Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation's official Park and Recreation Month. This July, the NRPA is encouraging you and your community to GET WILD about parks and recreation! Everything from wild workouts and wellness to getting wet and wild at the pool or even wild with nature – you just can't help but have fun this July, all while expressing the many valuable benefits of parks and recreation.
Fun Facts About the National Recreation and Park Association:
- 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.
- 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.
- A 2011 study conducted on Seattle's park and recreation system revealed that Seattle’s residents were able to save $64 million in medical costs as a result of participating in physical activity in the parks.
GET WILD with your family this summer and visit the NRPA website where you can find a calendar of local events. Also, be sure to take the Get Wild pledge while downloading a colorful poster or two. To really make things fun, the NRPA is introducing GET WILD geocaching! Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices and is a great way to get out and explore your local park and recreation areas in your community.
Many local parks offer geocaching so you'll be able to find the activity. And to top it all off, they are even rewarding your treasure hunting skills with great prizes, such as the chance to win 1 of 5 Magellan GC eXplorist GPS Devices! Don't have a GPS device? No worries, for there's a nifty app for your smartphone which will still allow you to take part in the contest and all the geocaching fun! Make sure to tune in to the NRPA Facebook page too so that you don't miss out on any of the action.
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.
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!