August 2021 - 22

HEALTH & WELLNESS
The park and recreation profession
has proven time and again that it
is committed to promoting and
protecting health and wellness where
people live, learn, work and play.
Parks and Recreation: The Public Health
Breakout Star of COVID-19
By Allison Colman
I
n June 2020, I wrote an article titled " An Agent of Public Health "
(tinyurl.com/kekdf65h). At the time, we were at the height of coronavirus
(COVID-19) shelter-in-place orders, and still relatively uncertain
of what the next several months would look like and how the park and
recreation field would be impacted. There was uncertainty, anxiety, frustration,
confusion, sadness, disappointment and grief. There were changing
roles and responsibilities; new skills and practices to master; difficult decisions
and divergent viewpoints to navigate; and even public, private and
political pressures to respond to. But in the article, I wrote about something
I was certain about - the vital role of park and recreation professionals as
public health change agents. The park and recreation profession has proven
time and again that it is committed to promoting and protecting health
and wellness where people live, learn, work and play. One year later as we
reflect upon and collectively heal from the trauma and turbulence of the
COVID-19 pandemic, that message is truer than ever before.
Parks and Recreation as
Holistic Health and Social
Service Providers
Responding to the pandemic and
their communities' holistic health
22 Parks & Recreation | A UGUS T 2 0 2 1
and social needs - especially
those community members who
are at the greatest
risk - local
agencies scaled up childcare programs
and learning centers, offered
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
facilities to shelter people without
housing, managed food distribution
programs, facilitated creative
community engagement programs,
and leveraged park and recreation
spaces and staff to provide needed
health and social services to
the community. At the same time,
during
the
height
of
shelter-inplace
orders in late April 2020,
86 percent of agencies kept all of
their trails open and three-quarters
of agencies made all their parks
available to the public. From midMarch
through
mid-June 2020,
three in five people - more than
190 million adults and children -
visited a park, trail, public open
space or recreation facility, and 83
percent of adults agree that those
visits were essential to their mental
http://www.tinyurl.com/kekdf65h

August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2021

August 2021 - Intro
August 2021 - Cover1
August 2021 - Cover2
August 2021 - 1
August 2021 - 2
August 2021 - 3
August 2021 - 4
August 2021 - 5
August 2021 - 6
August 2021 - 7
August 2021 - 8
August 2021 - 8a
August 2021 - 8b
August 2021 - 9
August 2021 - 10
August 2021 - 11
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August 2021 - Cover3
August 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com