Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The 'Circle' of Life

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

The 'Circle' of Life

Article excerpt

As we experience the heat of the summer, I can't help but think back to my childhood in Wheaton, Illinois, and all the days my friends and I spent at the local pool and area parks. Sometimes, I'd get dropped off at the pool with a bunch of friends, and sometimes, I'd ride my bike the 2 miles across town. I remember playing on the old, rundown playground at Triangle Park just a few blocks from the house, and days spent exploring through the woods. From sunup to sundown, we were outdoors and often enjoying whatever programs and activities our local park and recreation agency had to offer.

Now, I'm watching as my youngest is getting old enough to do some of this on his own. Of course, the pool of my childhood pales in comparison to the aquatic centers our agencies have today. The bright, colorful playgrounds are completely different, and now, there are marked paths through most of the woods I used to explore.

As we celebrate Park and Recreation Month in July, I think back to what a great impact parks and recreation truly has had on my life. My imagination ran wild as my friends and I made up games at the playground. Through swim lessons at the rec center, I learned to swim, and, at a very young age, I had the opportunity to try any sport I wanted, which taught me the value of team sports. …

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