Letter: Enjoy outdoor benefits in July

Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. Created by the National Recreation and Park Association, Park and Recreation Month specifically highlights the vital role local parks and recreation, such as the Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission, play in conservation, health and wellness, and social equity efforts in communities all across the country.

This year, BREC and NRPA want everyone to go OUTside, get INspired, change their OUTlook and get INvolved in the community. BREC encourages and invites all people in East Baton Rouge Parish to celebrate Park and Recreation Month during July by getting OUTside and INto their local parks.

This year’s theme, “OUT is IN,”is intended to bring awareness to the need to connect more people, adults and children alike, to nature and the outdoors. In fact, a recent nationwide survey released by NRPA and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs found that three in 10 U.S. adults do not spend time outside on a daily basis and of those who do spend daily time outside, almost half — 47 percent — spend less than 30 minutes in the fresh air.

In East Baton Rouge, residents can help reverse this trend and take the OUT is IN challenge by doing a typical indoor activity outdoors every day in July. They can also participate in BREC’s outdoor activities including a special nighttime event at Liberty Lagoon Water Park, Movie at the Lagoon, a sunset paddle at Wampold Park, Paddle Up classes to teach them how to kayak and canoe, and Outdoor Adventure summer camps for their children.

For more information, visit BREC’s website at www.brec.org and check out our event calendar for July.

BREC is leading initiatives and providing opportunities for people to achieve healthier lifestyles, promote and understand nature and conservation as well as bringing the community closer through a variety of programs and services.

Nationally, NRPA is encouraging all people to participate in a 31-day social media challenge on Twitter and Instagram. Anyone can participate by posting photos of themselves doing typical inside activities outside with the hashtag #JulyOUTisIN.

For more information, visit www.nrpa.org/July and learn how you can win Amazon gift cards by participating in the challenge.

We are excited to participate in National Park and Recreation Month and hope that you join us in showing the community the benefits of getting OUTdoors this July.

Carolyn McKnight

BREC superintendent

Baton Rouge