Park and Recreation Month
Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, the Smithville CIA seeks to mobilize the entire community— youth, parents, teachers, police, reporters, extra-curricular instructors, health care providers, faith communities, business professionals, civic leaders, government representatives, and other Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug providers. We know that strategically aligning not only the “movers and shakers,” but also the “grassroots” folks who have strong links within neighborhoods and informal institutions reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increases the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.
We have asked some of these community members to tell us why they have become involved in the Smithville Community in Action Coalition and why prevention is important for them. This month we have information from the Parks and Recreation Department with the city of Smithville. Brittanie Propes has been a member of the Smithville Community in Action Group for a short time, but she has been involved with other prevention coalitions in other Northland communities and was excited to become a member of the coalition in Smithville. Brittanie shares with us how the Parks and Rec department is important for creating healthy activities that promote healthy minds and bodies. Brittanie writes:
Since 1985, America has celebrated July as Park and Recreation Month. A program of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the goal is to raise awareness of the vital impact that parks and recreation have on communities across the U.S. Each year hundreds of parks and recreation agencies across the country celebrate July as a time to recognize the importance of parks and recreation in establishing and maintaining the quality of life and in contributing to the physical and mental well-being in communities.
This July we celebrated the fun and games that Smithville parks and recreation offers to the community of all ages and abilities. We joined forces with local businesses, Indigo Vybe and Healthy Headquarters, to offer yoga and fit camp as outlets for physical activity. We also partnered with Kelly’s Nook to host art classes at the park shelter house. We did storytime at the park and provided opportunities for outdoor Pickleball and basketball games. We also promoted activities that could be done alone or with your family at a park, like riding your bike at Lake Remote Park, flying a kite at Smith’s Fork Park, or watching one of our virtual summer camp activities.
During Park and Recreation Month, we promote the benefits of local parks and recreation amenities to communities and encourage people to get outside, get moving, explore local parks, and enjoy outdoor activities.
Outdoor activity has been linked to having a more positive outlook. Spending time outdoors can reduce stress and improve mental health. This year it was extremely important to provide opportunities for community health and well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic. The benefits of community parks and recreation have a positive impact on the mental and physical well-being of communities. It is vital that we continue our work in Park and Recreation Month and beyond to ensure that families have the opportunity to safely participate in programs and to get outside and explore.
So as we move forward out of Park and Recreation Month and gear up for schools re-opening along with the uncertainty of what the upcoming months will bring, we will still push forward with our mission to provide opportunities to get outside and play.