Parks and recreation facilities offer many opportunities for active recreation. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, physical activity lowers an individual’s anxiety and stress levels, while increasing self-esteem and improving mood.
Parks also provide social ties that unite us. By providing a place for adults to relax, children to play, and families to spend time together, parks and recreation facilities offer common ground for the different cultural groups that comprise our nation, fostering strong communities.
“The use of parks and recreation facilities is part of a healthy response to the uncertainties of our time—whether people want to relieve stress through physical activity, find inspiration in the beauty of nature, or simply reach out to others in their community,” observed T. Destry Jarvis, Executive Director of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
The NRPA has urged park and recreation agencies across the country to participate in the period of “National Unity, Hope and Healing” by encouraging public use of parks, recreation and cultural facilities. Collectively, local public recreation and park systems include more than 80,000 sites, and state park systems include more than 5,300 sites nationwide.
Additionally, the National Park Service will waive entrance fees at all 386 units of the National Park System on Nov. 10-12, 2001.