Access to parks and recreation facilities leads to healthy lifestyles for people of all ages. Games children play, whether in a sports league or summer camp, encourage the development of socialization skills and improves coordination and self-esteem. Play involves teamwork, learning to be a leader, and sharing with fellow teammates.
Strong evidence shows that when people have access to parks, they exercise more. Every time sedentary people walk a mile, they add 21 minutes to their life. On average, every hour an individual spends exercising increases life expectancy by two hours. Physical activity even increases the brain’s capacity for learning.
Besides the individual benefits, parks and recreation benefit our environment by preserving water and air quality, reducing congestion, and protecting wildlife. Families and communities also benefit; families that play together, stay together. Parks and recreation programs are a means to provide families with opportunities to spend important quality time together to build strong family bonds. Parks are a tangible reflection of the quality of life in a community.
Finally, parks enhance property values, contribute to healthy and productive workforces, and help attract and retain businesses. Parks and recreation facilities make communities desirable places to live, work, play, and visit.