Getting Wild about Parks

July is national Park and Recreation Month and we invite you to celebrate Charleston’s parks and green spaces. Since 1985, America has celebrated Park and Recreation Month each July. A program of the National Recreation and Park Association and the America’s Backyard initiative, the goal is to raise awareness of the vital impact that parks, recreation, and conservation have on communities across the United States. This year’s theme is “Get Wild!” and we’re definitely wild about our local parks.

__Why Get Wild about Parks__
– Parks and recreation facilities make life greener. In fact, it is estimated that U.S. urban park trees alone remove 75,000 tons of air pollutants annually.
– According to America’s State Parks, in 2009 there were about 725 million visits to 6,000 state parks across the country generated an economic impact of $20 billion for the communities surrounding the state parks.
– The nation’s park and recreation facilities are on the frontline in the battle against the obesity epidemic and other chronic health issues.
– Living close to parks and other recreation facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth.
– On average, children who live in greener environments weigh less than children who live in less green areas.
– Children that have easy access to a playground are about five times more likely to have a healthy weight than children that do not have easy access to playgrounds.
(Source: National Recreation and Park Association)

__How to Get Wild about Parks__
– Did you know the city of Charleston has 120 parks and green spaces? There’s a good chance you haven’t been to all of them so find a new park to explore. Check out our Park Directory for ideas.
– Pack a picnic. Who doesn’t love PB&J under the shade of an oak tree?
– Instead of walking or running that same route through your neighborhood, check out one of the many city parks with jogging paths, such as Hampton Park or run laps around Colonial Lake.
– Volunteer with us! We work year round to keep local parks and green spaces beautiful and would welcome new volunteers who want to pull weeds, water plants and make our parks the best they can be. Check out our events calendar for upcoming Garden in the Parks opportunities.
– Connect with us via Facebook and Twitter and let us know how you’re getting wild about Charleston parks this summer. We just might reward you!

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