Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Articulating the Value of Parks and Recreation

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Articulating the Value of Parks and Recreation

Article excerpt

When the Industrial Revolution began to fill America's cities, a few visionaries realized the importance of open, natural spaces and worked to preserve them. Over the last century, we have come to realize the value of those spaces as natural habitats, buffers for noise and pollution and areas where city dwellers can enjoy recreational pursuits.

During this pivotal time, the need for recreation programs and services became apparent. As Americans flocked into the cities for higher paying jobs, children were left with few recreational opportunities. Results of the landmark Boston Sandgardens made it evident that well-spent leisure time is critical to the healthy development and socialization of children.

Today's social changes mirror those of the era which gave birth to our profession. Americans have less and less time to recreate. High levels of stress are beginning to take there toll. We see evidence that our physical and mental health are declining. Setting aside natural spaces for the recreation of mind and body and providing programs and services that facilitate that recreation are vital principles in the development of a healthy society.

The parks and recreation profession was founded on these two principles. We--both professional practitioners and citizen advocates--have learned these lessons well. We will not underestimate the value of either parks and open spaces or recreational programs and services; we see their value every day. However, our greatest challenge--over one hundred years later--is to communicate that message to the public. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.