How Can Recreation Strengthen My Community?
Parks and recreation facilities are incredibly important for a healthy, vibrant community, and for citizens reaping the benefits of having a health community. These recreation or community centres provide opportunities for residents to be active and to interact with other people. They are common ground areas that are focused on inclusivity, while fostering a culture of health and well-being in the communities they serve. It's for this reason that recreation facilities are key to the development of healthy communities.
On top of all this, recreation facilities should aim to be a beacon of social responsibility for the residents; leading the way in educating about wildlife, conservation, health, nutrition and general well-being. Physical activity builds one aspect of a healthy community, but a fit community also gains the benefits of mental, emotional, and social well-being, as well.
How Recreation Strengthens Communities
Parks and recreation is a valuable investment for any city, town, district or community with a vast array of health benefits for its people. Here are some of the many ways recreation facilities improve communities.
Community and Inclusivity
A parks and recreation facility’s main purpose should be to provide opportunities for physical activity and recreation in a safe, inclusive environment. By creating a positive atmosphere, these local facilities become essential to personal health and wellness, thereby reducing reliance on healthcare and other costly social services. In turn, parks and recreation boosts the local economy and can also help contribute to overall economic development.
Healthy communities aren't just built on physical or mental health; they're also built on social health. The social bonds that people create at community recreation centres have strong benefits—they improve lives and help build strong, safe and inclusive communities; social interaction, volunteerism, civic pride and aesthetics all play a role. After-school recreation programs can help deter at-risk youth from criminal activities and can provide a constructive environment. Plus, they help younger people build self esteem as part of their critical development.
These spaces are meant for all ages, ethnicities, physical health backgrounds, activity and skills levels; they should promote cultural diversity and inclusion. Connecting your parks and recreation community with the right marketing channels can help you bring in more people.
Creating a Culture Focused On Wellness
Any parks and recreation facility should provide a convenient and fun opportunity for the community to stay fit and in great physical health. Physical activity has shown to have various benefits, including decreased risk of disease, improved physical and mental health, lower risk of injuries, lower risk of premature death, and more. It’s no wonder a healthy, active community that enjoys recreation and physical activity is a happy one.
For example, Vancouver has a well-known culture revolving around health, fitness and nutrition. While the city’s natural beauty gives them a huge advantage into drawing people out into natural spaces, their fit recreation culture still wasn’t built in one day. The City of Vancouver is known for leading the way in environmental sustainability and providing their citizens with 240 parks, destination gardens, and 24 recreation centres with swimming pools, arenas, and playing fields. With intelligent programming and community outreach, parks and recreation organizations can cultivate a healthy culture of wellness to better their own local communities. Needless to say, the City of Vancouver has seen great benefits from investing in their recreation's culture of well-being.
Promoting Social Responsibility
Parks and recreation facilities do wonders for environmental sustainability. By acquiring, protecting and managing natural spaces, these organizations boost the health of our ecology. A recreation facility can be a socially responsible leader in the community, in a number of ways. Host local volunteer recreation events where you make a difference in the environment. Whether that’s creating a pollution reduction campaign or advocating for the protection of an at-risk natural habitat in your city, there are many things you can do to establish a culture of responsibility.
As a parks and recreation team member, to effectively boost health benefits and wellness in your community, your communication with recreation members needs to be at a high level. Here are some effective outreach strategies for your community, to get more people moving.