As National Park and Recreation Month, July serves to promote health in American communities through exercise and play and to recognize the personnel who maintain America’s parks and recreation centers.
To achieve this goal, the Greenbelt Recreation Department has put up a display in the Community Center. Located outside Room 108 is a standard display case lined with black construction paper. Inside the case are Post-it notes with messages detailing how different people “get their play on.” On the outside of the glass are packs of Post-it notes and markers to encourage passersby to write what they do for play. Those who write notes and stick them to the glass will have their notes added to the inside of the case. Di Quynn-Reno, Community Center supervisor and the one responsible for the display, hopes the case will be filled with responses by the end of the month.
Though many associate parks and recreation with outdoor and physical activities, there is no strict definition of play. Many of the notes inside the case list nonphysical activities, such as making music, playing board games and sewing. When Quynn-Reno was asked what play meant to her, she replied, “What I do in my spare time that makes me happy.” She also mentioned that some of the ways she gets her play on include walking, biking and flying trapeze.
Encouraging play is important in maintaining the well-being of a community. Not only does it bring the community together, it also promotes good health. The National Recreation and Park Association reports that 74 percent of children do not engage in daily exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to a variety of health issues later in life. Recreation centers help reduce the likelihood of issues such as obesity and heart disease by providing children and adults an outlet for physical activity.
The Community Center offers a large variety of activities, from sports and camps to ceramics and yoga. The activities offered change throughout the year, so be sure to check often if the one you want is not currently available. A list of current programs can be found at greenbeltmd.gov. Remember to visit the display outside Room 108 and let it be known how you get your play on.