4 Reasons to #OptOutside and be Thankful for Parks

By Angelina Horn, Outreach Manager for City Parks Alliance

Parks are where people gather on weekends to relax, exercise, play, and connect with their community. They are where children first experience nature. But beyond their role in recreation and social well-being, city parks also help grow local economies, create new transportation options, combat crime, and reduce environmental impacts such as storm water runoff.

On Black Friday, November 25, REI is suggesting everyone #OptOutside and we agree. Here are a few reasons why we think it’s a great time to give thanks for your local park!

Parks Keep Us Healthy
 Parks are an ideal place for movement, providing the room needed for running, walking, sports, and other active pursuits, which are all things we need to do to live longer, healthier lives. And to work off that Thanksgiving dinner.

Parks Keep Our Air and Water Clean
 
In addition to creating a habitat for urban wildlife, tree cover in parks improve the air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants. And a park’s green infrastructure — like vegetation and grassy areas — helps clean our water by capturing and filtering stormwater runoff.

Parks Improve Economies
 It’s no secret that people love living near parks. Not only do parks raise property values, a good park system spurs local investment and can attract a better workforce by offering an excellent quality of life.

Parks Bring Communities Together
 Parks can connect individuals of all ages and backgrounds by providing a space for them to meet and get to know each other. They’re a natural meeting space, whether you’re warming up for a group run, playing pickup basketball, or celebrating a neighborhood birthday party.

Interested in learning more? Download our new infographics and make the case for urban parks!


Originally published at cityparksblog.org on November 21, 2016.