Out Is In for National Park and Rec Month

Here’s a startling statistic from the National Recreation and Park Association: nearly three in 10 U.S. adults do not spend time outside on a daily basis and of those who do, almost half spend less than 30 minutes in the fresh air.

Wow! Surely those people aren’t in Charleston where we’re surrounded by beautiful outdoor spaces and incredible local parks. But just in case you’re not getting out as much as you’d like, this is the month to head to the great outdoors.

The NRPA is hosting National Park and Recreation Month, urging everyone to get out and visit their community parks and recreation areas during July. This year’s theme, “OUT is IN,” encourages individuals, families, friends and coworkers to do something outside everyday that they would normally do inside. From picnicking in the park instead of sitting inside at a table to sending an email or even holding a meeting outside, there are small ways you can make going out part of your daily routine.

Here are 5 ways to take your indoor activities outside this month. And don’t worry, we’ve selected parks with cool breezes, fountains and shade trees because we realize it is July in Charleston after all.
– Have a meeting in the park. In fact, we recently blogged about how the Conservancy board of directors had a meeting in the park. Check out our ideas for good parks to host a meeting.
– Move family dinner to a park with a playground like Corrine Jones (great shade structure), Hazel Parker Playground and Brittlebank (cool breezes from the Ashley River) in downtown Charleston, Etiwan Park on Daniel Island or Plymouth Park on James Island. Engage the kids in packing a picnic for dinner or, if you’re crunched for time, we’ll give you a pass – stop for a deli sandwich.
– Date night goes to the park! Instead of sitting inside a restaurant and having dessert, grab an iced coffee or a frozen yogurt and enjoy a romantic evening at Hampton Park (lots of shade trees), Waterfront Park (refreshing harbor breeze) or Chapel Street Fountain Park (cozy alert!).
– Take that 2 p.m. slump outdoors. Sometime between 2 and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, everyone gets a case of the “tireds.” We still have a few hours of work but we’re running out of steam. This is about the time, someone fires up the break room coffee pot. Instead, go for a brisk walk. If you’re fortunate enough to work in downtown Charleston, a lap around Marion Square, Colonial Lake or White Point Garden should do the trick.
– Summer is the time to kick back with a good book so why not take your book outside? This is perfect for kids who are engaged in summer reading to keep their skills sharp while school is out. If you just left the main branch of the Charleston County Public Library on Calhoun, head to a nearby park to dive into chapter 1: Marion Square (sit under a shade tree), Chapel Street Fountain Park (shady with a fountain) or Tiedemann Park and Nature Center (big shade tree).

You probably have ideas of your own so let’s hear ‘em! Share the ways you’re taking the indoors outdoors this month. Use hashtag #JulyOUTisIN and share with us on Facebook, Twitter (@charlestonparks) and Instagram (@charlestonparks).

And be sure to visit our Park Directory to find a park near you. With more than 120 parks and green spaces, we think you’ll find one to your liking.

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