“Outside!” How many times did you hear that growing up? This command typically was issued from my harried parents to my siblings and me pretty much anytime there was daylight to burn. Parents today tend not to do that as much. Fewer kids around, fears of stranger danger, larger homes and technology-based entertainment keep many kids from getting out to play.
Those who stay indoors are missing out on key health benefits of outdoor time. The National Recreation and Parks Association promotes National Park and Recreation Month in July. To celebrate this year’s theme, “Out is In," the association reminds us why we should all get out and enjoy our many parks and trails:
• Higher levels of green space are associated with lower symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.
• 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 who have easy access to a playground are about five times more likely to have a healthy weight than children who do not have easy access to playgrounds.
At the Carol Stream Park District, we are getting people out into our many parks with our Find 50 Fact Hunt.
In honor of our 50th anniversary as a park district and to celebrate National Parks and Recreation Month, we created a trivia-type scavenger hunt in our parks. In each of 50 locations throughout the district, we’ve hidden little fact cards with a historical or interesting fact about that site. Fill in your scorecard – available on our website – with the facts for each site, and you will win a special 50th anniversary T-shirt.
The Find 50 Fact Hunt runs through Sept. 30. Find out more on the Carol Stream Park District website at www.csparks.org.
Julie Vogl is the director of marketing services for the Carol Stream Park District.