June 2021 - 8

P E R S P E C T I V E S A M E S S A G E F R O M N R P A' S L E A D E R S

Parks and Recreation:
A Critical Link to Health
Summer is fast
approaching, so let
us take a minute to
think about the important role parks
and recreation plays
in the health and
wellness of our communities.
During
the
coronavirus
(COVID-19)
pandemic, we demonstrated that park
and recreation professionals are a key
to fully integrated
public health. Parks
play a vital role in
meeting the evolving health needs of
our communities. In fact, a recent NRPA Park Pulse
Survey (nrpa.org/ParkPulse) found that 83 percent of
U.S. adults agree that visiting their local parks, trails
and open spaces has been essential for their mental
and physical well-being during the pandemic. I am
grateful that NRPA prioritizes health and wellness as
one of its Three Pillars and provides many resources
to promote and deliver healthy parks.
Health and wellness really begin in our parks and
open spaces. Lately, more people are engaging in physical activity by walking, running and biking outdoors
on our paths and trails. Walking is accessible for most
people since fitness equipment is not necessary - just
a sturdy pair of shoes. Getting our steps in benefits our
health in so many ways. For example, walking clubs
provide social connections with friends and neighbors.
As a pilot city of the Move Your Way initiative, Chicago prioritizes and promotes the importance of physical
activity in decreasing chronic disease and improving
mental health.
A variety of apps on your smartphone or mobile device can track steps and encourage people to reach their
fitness goals. Many communities are taking advantage

8	

Parks & Recreation

| J U N E 2 02 1 | PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G

of outdoor fitness equipment at parks and in open spaces to achieve fitness goals through running clubs, fitness classes, yoga and leisure activity. Throughout the
pandemic, we have offered hundreds of virtual classes
online to community members.
Health and wellness include prioritizing the importance of nutrition through healthy eating and offering
access to food. I am proud that Chicago has been selected to receive a Parks as Nutrition Hubs grant, which
builds community nutrition hubs to help expand access
to healthy foods and nutrition education through the
power of parks and recreation. These nutrition hubs
are a strategic piece of the broader vision of parks
and recreation serving as community wellness hubs.
NRPA and the Chicago Park District have a long history of collaborating on the Commit to Health initiative
(nrpa.org/CommitToHealth).
Many of us will support our communities this summer through federal food programs that feed day campers and kids during out-of-school time activities. We
provide that crucial link to food at times when many
kids need it most. Parks across the country also host
farmers markets and other opportunities that increase
food access.
This summer, remember that parks and recreation
offers a critical link to health in our communities.
Get moving in your favorite way, whether it be walking, jogging or just enjoying green spaces. See you in
a park!

MICHAEL P. KELLY
Chair, NRPA Board of Directors


http://www.nrpa.org/CommitToHealth http://www.nrpa.org/ParkPulse

June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2021

June 2021 - 1
June 2021 - Cover1
June 2021 - Cover2
June 2021 - 1
June 2021 - 2
June 2021 - 3
June 2021 - 4
June 2021 - 5
June 2021 - 6
June 2021 - 7
June 2021 - 8
June 2021 - 9
June 2021 - 10
June 2021 - 11
June 2021 - 12
June 2021 - 13
June 2021 - 14
June 2021 - 15
June 2021 - 16
June 2021 - 17
June 2021 - 18
June 2021 - 19
June 2021 - 20
June 2021 - 21
June 2021 - 22
June 2021 - 23
June 2021 - 24
June 2021 - 25
June 2021 - 26
June 2021 - 27
June 2021 - 28
June 2021 - 29
June 2021 - 30
June 2021 - 31
June 2021 - 32
June 2021 - 33
June 2021 - 34
June 2021 - 35
June 2021 - 36
June 2021 - 37
June 2021 - 38
June 2021 - 39
June 2021 - 40
June 2021 - 41
June 2021 - 42
June 2021 - 43
June 2021 - 44
June 2021 - 45
June 2021 - 46
June 2021 - 47
June 2021 - 48
June 2021 - 49
June 2021 - 50
June 2021 - 51
June 2021 - 52
June 2021 - 53
June 2021 - 54
June 2021 - 55
June 2021 - 56
June 2021 - Cover3
June 2021 - Cover4
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