Parks and Recreation, The Benefits are Endless...For Kids
Beyond Fun and Games…
Often people need to be reminded of how vital parks and recreation are to the quality of their lives. While fun, happiness, and play are vital to growth and development, the expanded role of public parks and recreation is more critical than ever. Whether we know it or not, programs, services, events, and opportunities offered by local, state, and national park and recreation agencies positively impact lives and society as a whole.
American and Canadian organizations have identified four major benefit categories: Community, Individual, Economy, and Environmental. Within each category are specific benefits which are substantiated by facts, field studies, testimonials, and research findings.
What is a Benefit?
According to The American College Dictionary, a benefit is anything that is for the good of a person or thing.
“In Ohio, citizens paid approximately $40 per person for parks and recreation services as compared to almost $40,000 to jail one teenager. It costs almost 100 times more for incarceration versus recreation”. Michelle Park, Ohio Parks & Recreation Association.
“In the City of Swanton, 75% of the senior high school students stated in their exit surveys that their 6th grade, week long visit to 4H Camp Palmer was the most memorable experience in their school careers.” Betty Jo Sadowsky, Teach at Crestwood Middle School.
In Kettering, Ohio, the 1996 Citizen Leisure Survey found that 94.4% of the respondents felt that parks provide safe areas for youth (ranked #2).
“Upon opening a community center in a Cincinnati neighborhood, the overall crime rate dropped 40%.” Myra Madison, North Fairmont Community Director.
Everyone in the world has somehow benefited by public park and recreation programs at some time in their lives – directly or indirectly. The time has come to make the connection between past experiences and today’s success, yesterday’s activities, and tomorrow’s physical and mental wellness, and today’s taxpayer support and safe communities for our children and grandchildren! So, whether avid participant or occasional observer, enjoy the benefits. It’s everyone’s right.
To find out more about the benefits of parks and recreation, contact the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association at (614)895-2222.