Thompson, Tsongas Introduce Resolution to Mark July as ‘Park and Recreation Month’
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Niki Tsongas (D-MA) have introduced a resolution to designate July as “Park and Recreation Month” to celebrate federal, state and local public parks and recreation systems.
H. Res. 941 recognizes the important role that public parks, recreation facilities and activities play in the lives of Americans and the contributions of employees and volunteers who work daily to maintain public parks across the nation.
“I remember going to Bald Eagle State Park in my youth, and those days were always a highlight of my summer,” Rep. Thompson said. “Public parks give communities across the country, both rural and urban, a common area to get together, live an active lifestyle and enjoy the outdoors. I am pleased to join with Rep. Tsongas to highlight our community treasures during Park and Recreation Month.”
“With Park and Recreation Month we encourage kids and families to get outside and enjoy the beautiful parks that play such an important role in our communities,” Rep. Tsongas said. “Our public spaces bring communities together, provide unique places to explore and learn about nature and help maintain our quality of life. I thank Rep. Thompson for his partnership in this effort and look forward to visiting some of the great parks in my district this summer.”
Park and recreation facilities generate opportunities for people to come together and experience a sense of community. They pay dividends to communities by attracting businesses and jobs and increasing housing values.
In the United States, public park operations and capital spending generates nearly $154 million in economic activity annually.
Ninety percent of people in the U.S. agree that public park recreation facilities and activities are important government services, a figure that displays a base of support that spans across all people in the country regardless of race, income, gender or political party affiliation.
Nearly 75 percent of Americans agree that it is an important to ensure all members of their community have equitable access to public park and recreation facilities.
The most economically sound communities are those with ample and healthy public park and recreation facilities and activities.
A key factor in business expansion and location decisions is the quality of life for employees with a premium placed on adequate and accessible public parks and open space.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS IMPACTS
Public parks and recreation facilities foster a variety of activities that contribute to a healthier society.
People who use public parks and open spaces are three times more likely to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity than non-users.
Americans living within a 10-minute walk of a park have higher levels of physical activity and lower rates of obesity.
Recreation programs at public parks provide children with a safe place to play, access to healthy foods, opportunities to be physically active and enrichment facilities that help prevent at-risk behavior such a drug use and gang involvement.