Washington, D.C. (Vocus) August 1, 2009
Just in the nick of time and before their August recess, the House this week passed by voice vote, H. RES. 288 recognizing the importance of park and recreation programs and facilities and expressing support for the designation of the month of July as "National Park and Recreation Month".
The legislation was introduced in March by Rep. John Barrow of Georgia and at final passage included 48 co-sponsors. Representative Barrow noted in his presenting statements, "Park and recreation facilities aid in combating obesity and chronic disease epidemics; connect children with nature; provide opportunities for increased physical activities; and enhance the quality of life for injured military service members and those with physical disabilities through therapeutic recreation. As American families enjoy our summer season, I offer H. Res. 288 as a tribute to our state and local parks and their employees and I urge my colleagues to support it."
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has been a strong advocate in supporting the official designation and has promoted July as Park and Recreation Month since 1985. The bill approved by the House this week makes it official. Recreation facilities and parks across the country annually use July to celebrate the kick-off of summer programming and as a time to pull their communities together to volunteer, get involved in great outdoor physical activities and advocate for parks and recreation.
"We are delighted that the House has passed this legislation", NRPA CEO Barbara Tulipane said. Tulipane continued, "This official designation will ensure that more Americans understand the vital role parks and recreation areas play in stimulating our nation's economy, improving community health and wellness, and safeguarding our nation's natural resources."
The text of Rep. Barrow's bill notes, "…the creation of places for physical activity, combined with information outreach, produced a 48.4 percent increase in the frequency of physical activity." The legislation text further notes, "…more than 75 percent of U.S. citizens use park and recreation facilities to maintain fitness and remain socially interactive…"
NRPA has recently initiated a long-term research study with George Mason University to quantify the health benefits in urban communities resulting from usage of parks. The study is focused on the current renovation underway in Marvin Gaye Park in Northeast Washington, DC.
For more information, visit http://www.nrpa.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL RECREATION AND PARK ASSOCIATION
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 more than 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 http://www.nrpa.org.
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