Ashburn, Va., July 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This July, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the nation’s leading advocate for parks and recreation, invites everyone to celebrate Park and Recreation Month. The monthlong celebration, themed “We Are Parks and Recreation,” honors the selfless, passionate and essential work of park and recreation professionals who provide services that are critical to the health and vitality of communities everywhere — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic — and help bolster the nation’s economy.
Park and recreation professionals serve their communities in a variety of meaningful ways as public health professionals, planners, environmental educators, engineers, programmers, climate change experts, social service providers, nutritionists, inclusion advocates and more. Their diverse lived experiences contribute to a greater, wider-reaching impact that help keep our communities vibrant and resilient. From protecting open space and natural resources, to helping fight obesity and providing activities and resources for all people, this diverse group of professionals is on the frontlines helping confront the nation’s most pressing health, environmental and social challenges — including climate change, homelessness and substance misuse — all while helping ensure local parks and programs are well-maintained, safe, inclusive and welcoming.
Park and recreation professionals also direct and manage the parks, programs and services that help drive a strong economy. According to a recent study conducted by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University and NRPA, the nation’s vast network of local park agencies generated more than $166 billion in economic activity and supported more than 1 million jobs from their operations and capital spending alone in 2017.
“Park and Recreation Month is a special time to honor all the dedicated professionals that work tirelessly to make our communities better places to work, live and play,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, park and recreation professionals have been trusted community leaders adapting to support a host of rapid emergency response and relief services. This July, we encourage everyone to join us as we celebrate and thank these outstanding individuals for the vital work they do to support the people and places they so proudly serve. To all of our members, we thank you for your service and dedication to the field.”
Since 1985, people have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote the important role parks and recreation has in health and well-being, conservation and social equity, and to recognize the more than 160,000 full-time park and recreation professionals — along with hundreds of thousands of part-time and seasonal workers and volunteers — that maintain our country’s state and local parks.
Park and recreation professionals and agencies across the country recognize the month with summer programs, virtual events, contests, commemorations and more. NRPA encourages people that support parks and recreation to share their park and recreation story, as well as why their local park and recreation professionals are important to them, with the hashtag #WeAreParksandRec.
NRPA also asks people to get creative throughout the month by participating in the Thank a Park and Rec Pro contest. Film a video thanking a park and recreation professional in your community for the services they provide and post it on social media using the hashtag #ThankAParkAndRecPro for a chance to win prizes throughout July.
To learn more about the contest and Park and Recreation Month, visit www.nrpa.org/July.
To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.
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 people have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its member network of over 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 www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.
Roxanne Sutton National Recreation and Park Association 703-858-2166 email@example.com