It’s National Parks & Recreation Month!

Maggie Grainger
July 14, 2020
3 min read

Since 1985, the National Recreation and Park Association has promoted the “importance parks and recreation has in health and well-being, conservation and social equity,” every July.

Not only does it shine a light on the importance of parks and recreational facilities in communities around the country, but it’s also a chance for residents 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 local, state and community parks.”

We can all agree that maintaining and establishing parks is more important than ever as people are looking for alternative ways to get outside and stay active during the pandemic. Next time you’re out enjoying your favorite public space, take a minute to recognize the essential workers who keep our parks up, running, and beautiful!

Some fun park facts from nrpa.org:

  • Three in four Americans live within a 10-minute walk of a local park or another recreational facility.
  • 83% of U.S. adults agree that visiting their local parks, trails and open spaces are essential for their mental and physical well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Nine in 10 Americans agree parks and recreation is an important local government service.
  • The Centers for Disease Control found that increased access to places for physical activity led to a 25.6 percent increase in people exercising 3 or more times per week.
  • Living close to parks and other recreation facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth.
  • Children that have easy access to a playground are approximately five times more likely to have a healthy weight than children that do not have easy access to playgrounds.
  • A park with one acre of trees absorbs the carbon dioxide produced by driving a car 11,000 miles.

Be sure to take a minute to thank the essential workers who are making sure your parks stay up and running during COVID while you’re out and about this month.

PLANNING A CAMPING ADVENTURE?

Camping has been deemed one of the least risky summer activities to participate in this summer because you’re outdoors and largely isolated. That said, your camping trip may look a little different than it has in years past.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Make reservations ahead of time

Not all national and state parks or campsites are open at this time, which makes day-of reservations hard to come by. Book a site online before you head out to make sure one’s available when you arrive.

Expand your packing list

In addition to all your regular camping gear, throw in extra hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and gloves.

NOTE: Every park and campsite has different rules and regulations when it comes to social distancing and other precautions. Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require masks, be sure to pack one for everyone in your party to use when in common spaces.

Find safe day hikes

When planning out your daily adventures, try to avoid crowded, narrow paths. This will help with social distancing and diminish your risk of infection. Even though you’re outside, it’s imperative to stay a minimum of 6 feet away from others at all times. If it looks like you’re going to be packed in like sardines, skip the spot and try and find somewhere else to hang out that day.

Reminder: If you have COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, or have recently been in contact with someone with COVID-19, please continue to stay home and away from others.

Liked what you read? Learn more by downloading the Carbon Health app or visiting carbonhealth.com.

Maggie Grainger

Maggie Grainger is the Brand Copywriter at Carbon Health. She enjoys writing about diverse healthcare issues and helping people live their healthiest lives.

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