Discover the Power of Play This July During Park and Recreation Month

Month-long celebration highlights the essential value of local parks and recreation in communities nationwide

Ashburn, Virginia, UNITED STATES

Ashburn, Va., June 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This July, during Park and Recreation Month, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) challenges everyone to get their play on with their local parks and recreation. Whether it’s summer camp, an adult sports league, exploring a trail, Zumba class, meeting friends on the playground, playing cards in the park or discovering nature – parks offer something fun for everyone.

“Play is a vital part of our mental wellbeing, physical health and personal interactions,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “To discover the power of play, visit your local park or recreation center where you can gather with family and friends, and participate in a variety of fun indoor and outdoor activities that will motivate and challenge you.”

Seventy-four percent of children don’t get enough daily exercise – encouraging active play is a great way to get kids and adults more physically active. Parks make fitness fun through the use of outdoor exercise equipment, group fitness classes, sports leagues and so much more. Parks are also places where all people can play, regardless of age, income or ability.

To celebrate Park and Recreation Month, NRPA is hosting a weekly contest encouraging people to share why play is so important in their lives. Visit for more information on how to participate. Entries can be submitted using the hashtag #NRPAPlayChallenge. NRPA also encourages all people that support parks and recreation to share why they think play is so important with the hashtag #PlayOnJuly.  

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. Park and recreation agencies across the country are recognizing the month with summer programs, events, contests, commemorations and celebrations.  

NRPA is also celebrating Park and Recreation Month with the release of an infographic highlighting the importance of play for people of all ages.

Barbie Dance Academy is the official sponsor of Park and Recreation Month 2017. Supporters of this year’s Park and Recreation Month include the American Public Health Association (APHA); American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); America Walks; the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals; CBS EcoMedia; International City/County Management Association; Lakeshore Foundation; Marathon Kids; National Afterschool Association; National Center on Health, Physical Activity & Disability; National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Centers; National Park Trust; Niagara Bottling; Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA); Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA); U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition; Salud America!; Southwest Airlines; and the World Waterpark Association.   

Park and Recreation Month 2017 is also supported by the following park and recreation state associations: Colorado Parks & Recreation Association; Florida Recreation and Park Association; Michigan Recreation and Park Association; Missouri Park & Recreation Association; New Mexico Recreation and Parks Association; North Carolina Recreation & Park Association; Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society; Tennessee Recreation & Parks Association; Virginia Recreation and Park Society; and the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association. 

To learn more about Park and Recreation Month, visit

To learn more about NRPA, visit   




About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit




A photo accompanying this announcement is available at




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