It’s a safe bet we can all agree on the following. That when:
• you visit a park, it is clean, safe, and ready to use.
• your family goes swimming, the lifeguards are well-trained and the water quality is optimal.
• your grandchild visits the playground, you know it is maintained to all safety standards.
• your loved one with a disability wants to camp, swim, paddle or fish, all facilities are well-marked, well-maintained and easily accessible.
• you attend a public festival, all safety and security systems are capable and functioning.
• your elderly parents look for enriching and companionable activities, they can always find them.
• your children attend day camp, you are certain of their safe and appropriate physical, cognitive and social development.
• you visit urban woodlands, gardens and greenspaces, the attractive assets are well-cared for and healthy.
• your teens participate in youth sports, they thrive in the coaching, playing, and growing.
• you want to bike to the park, grocery store, library or work, you are able to make those connections, free from all hazards.
I believe we can agree that these are all reasonable expectations of our park and recreation facilities and programs. And since they are, it is fitting to credit the park and recreation professionals who provide them.
The third Friday in July is Pennsylvania Park and Recreation Professionals Day. It honors the men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide the high quality programs and facilities we desire and expect in our parks and public spaces.
On July 19, we invite all Pennsylvanians to visit a park and enjoy its facilities and services in a tribute to all our park and recreation providers. And just perhaps they’ll mention a little thanks to the programmer, manager, maintainer, landscaper, facilitator, lifeguard, coach, event organizer or caretaker.
If you have a public event on or near Friday, July 19, we encourage you to make it an official Park and Recreation Professionals Day celebration, with special promotions and publicity. Invite your elected officials and allow them to eye-witness and publicly acknowledge your value to the community at large. Download the resources of the promotional toolkit here to assist in your local preparations.
Park and Recreation Professionals Day is celebrated during National Park and Recreation Month, and is a function of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society.
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