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June is Parks and Rec Month: Celebrating the Benefits of Outdoor Recreation

June is designated as Parks and Recreation Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the benefits of parks and outdoor recreation spaces. 

The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) encourages municipalities, First Nations, and other beneficiaries of funding from Sask Lotteries to participate in this recognition.

The Lakeland District for Sport, Culture and Recreation focuses on community development through sport, culture, and recreation. This district spans a large area, including locations from Montreal Lake and Tobin Lake in the north to Hague, Alvena, Cudworth, and Naicam in the south, and from Big River, Leoville, and Spiritwood in the west to the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border in the east. The district offers numerous parks and green spaces, including national, provincial, regional, and local community parks.

The theme for Parks and Recreation Month is “Connect on Common Ground,” encouraging people from all backgrounds to enjoy outdoor spaces with family and friends. The campaign highlights the diversity in nature and promotes inclusive outdoor spaces for all. Messages such as “Nature is diverse. Outdoor spaces should be diverse too,” and “Parks are the heart of our communities in the summer,” aim to foster community connections through shared outdoor experiences.

Research by the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) and the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA) highlights the economic and health impacts of physical activity. Their report, “The Price of Inactivity: Measuring the Powerful Impact of Sport, Physical Activity, and Recreation in Canada,” reveals that 51% of Canadian adults and 72% of children and youth do not meet recommended physical activity guidelines. Despite the known benefits of regular physical activity, inactivity levels have remained unchanged over recent decades.

As highlighted in a Wakaw Recorder report, Michelle Kondo, a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service, notes that being in nature has measurable physical and psychological benefits. Engaging in parks and recreation activities strengthens volunteer networks, builds community pride, and supports community development. These activities also attract new residents and businesses, enhancing property values and boosting local economies.

Investment in parks and recreation programs contributes to tourism and reduces healthcare and social service costs. Parks, trails, and open spaces help maintain clean air and water, ensuring ecological sustainability and preserving biodiversity. Outdoor activities support active and healthy lifestyles, increasing life expectancy, improving sleep quality, and reducing cancer risk. Studies also show that nature reduces stress, cortisol levels, muscle tension, and heart rates, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Local community calendars list various recreational activities for the summer months. In Wakaw, activities include adult bowling, yoga, hockey training, Walk-aw Days, youth minor ball, and Kids Club. Cudworth offers swimming lessons, chair yoga, Great Western Days, a Bunnuck tournament, and excursions on the Wheatland Express Excursion Train. In Rosthern, the Family Festival, the Ag Society Gymkhana, swimming lessons, and cultural events at The Station Arts Centre and the Rosthern Ag Society grounds are featured. Other events include Moosefest in Bellevue, Back to Batoche Days, and the Waldheim School of Dance Summer Dance program.

Parks and Recreation Month serves as a reminder of the significant benefits these spaces provide. By stepping outside and engaging in recreational activities, individuals can enhance their well-being and contribute to stronger, healthier communities. The outdoor recreation industry plays a crucial role in facilitating these experiences, supporting economic growth, and promoting environmental sustainability.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: June is Parks and Rec Month: Celebrating the Benefits of Outdoor Recreation! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/canada/saskatchewan/june-is-parks-and-rec-month-celebrating-the-benefits-of-outdoor-recreation/