Parks and Recreation Month
“There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and the wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in the process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of the great human principle.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Since 1985, National Parks and Recreation month has been recognized in July, as a time to celebrate our country's many local, state, and national parks. This network of parks – and, most importantly, the people who work so hard every day to manage them – help contribute to the overall well-being and health of our communities.
The world's first national park was Yellowstone National Park, established in 1872 to protect more than 2 million acres of mountains, wilderness, and gorgeous landscapes. Cleveland's own Metroparks system was created in 1917 as a way of maintaining green space for future generations as Cuyahoga County began to grow and develop.
Today, the Cleveland Metroparks make up more than 24,000 acres of park space. According to the Metroparks, more than 700,000 people in 49 communities have been served by the Cleveland Metropark system since 2019. This includes the kids and communities from under-served areas that ZENworks Yoga works with, who may otherwise not have access to parks or green space.
Here are some of our favorite family-friendly park activities:
Explore a new playground. The brand new playground at Edgewater Beach is set to open later this summer and features different bridges and climbing equipment.
Pack and picnic and head to the beach. The Cleveland Metroparks offers swimming with lifeguards at six different locations.
Become a Junior Ranger by completing a series of activities with the Cuyahoga Valley National Parkway! (https://www.nps.gov/cuva/learn/kidsyouth/beajuniorranger.htm)
Take a walk, or a bike ride, or a hike on one of the many miles of trails throughout the park system. Trails are offered for all levels of accessibility and fitness.
Parks aren't just for summer! There are tons of winter activities like sledding, cross country skiing, hiking, and more that can be done in the winter!
Grab your family and some water bottles and go explore!