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July Designated "Park and Recreation Month"

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If you haven't already made plans to visit a national park this summer, consider doing so in July, which has been designated Park and Recreation Month by Congress.

Each year since 1985, Americans have celebrated national Park and Recreation Month during the month of July to recognize the importance of parks and recreation in establishing and maintaining the quality of life for, and contributing to the physical, economic and environmental well-being of communities.

Through efforts by the National Recreation and Park Association, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an official resolution for Park and Recreation Month in 2009. The association supports the national park and recreation community and the general public in promoting summer programming and celebrations in support of the field.

This year’s theme is Celebrate, Advocate, Recreate! NRPA will support park and recreation agencies and citizens as they plan special events and initiatives that remind local decision makers and the community of the exciting and vital role that parks and recreation play in the lives of Americans.

“Parks and recreation are critically important to the economic and environmental well-being of communities, and the physical and mental health of individuals,” said Barbara Tulipane, chief executive officer of the organization. “As the field faces the most difficult times in decades, it’s important for Americans to use their collective voices and energy this July to fight for well supported and robust park and recreation systems.”

For 2010, NRPA is supporting two initiatives, including Visit a Park with Your Legislator Day, where agencies are encouraged to invite legislators to their facilities and show first-hand the critical services parks and recreation agencies provide to their communities, and a Social Media Project, where individuals are encouraged to take photos with NRPA’s official “This is how we recreate!” social media sign, and post the photos to their favorite social media sites with “July is Park and Recreation Month” in the header.

A tool kit is available online with downloadable social media signs, “how to” guides, media templates, the official Park and Recreation Month proclamation, a customizable Park and Recreation Month calendar, a 50 Ways to Celebrate Park and Recreation Month idea list, and more. To access the tool kit, go to www.NRPA.org/2010julytoolkit For more information on all of NRPA’s Park and Recreation Month initiatives, go to www.NRPA.org/july

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation, and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of roughly 21,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.

For more information, visit www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrec-magazine.org.

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