Most people have fond, nostalgic memories of visits to the park. Perhaps celebrating family picnics and reunions, playing little league baseball games, enjoying quiet evenings in nature or even fishing and hiking with friends and family. The positive role that public parks have played in so many of our lives is undeniable. That is why the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has designated July as Parks and Recreation Month.
We are not alone in our recognition of the vital role parks play in our local communities. Since 1985, various communities across America have recognized Parks and Recreation Month every July. And in 2009, Congress passed an official resolution designating July Parks and Recreation Month.
Parks play an incredibly important part in supporting environmental, social, and health benefits. Parks improve water and air quality, prevent flooding, and support habitats for vegetation and wildlife. They are also critical to the physical and mental health of our communities: providing us with public gathering places for friends, families, and local organizations by giving us all the ability to enjoy nature, exercise, and stay healthy. Parks also provide people the opportunity to be engaged and to get involved in various volunteer activities being offered. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the benefits provided by public parks, which also includes a positive impact on our economy by enhancing property values, attracting homeowners, and retaining businesses.
This summer, the Fairfax County Park Authority is celebrating its 65th anniversary, and we are all extremely fortunate to be home to a wide variety of parks throughout the county. In addition, the Fairfax County Park Authority hosts a variety of different activities and classes all summer long, including summer day camps and public concerts. To find out more about all our parks have to offer, and all the different opportunities to get involved in this summer, please visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/. I can promise that you will find something for the whole family to enjoy.
This summer, there is also a great opportunity to attend a series of concerts being held at two of Braddock District’s very own parks. The Braddock Nights summer concert series kicks off July 10 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at both Royal Lake and Lake Accotink Parks. These free musical performances will be held throughout the summer, and will include a wide array of performances from classical to bluegrass to everything in between. The atmosphere is informal and you're encouraged to bring a picnic dinner, blankets, lawn chairs, and to relax with friends and family to celebrate the end of the workweek. A list of this summer’s performances can be found by visiting http://bit.ly/BraddockNights2015. For more information or to volunteer, please call 703-425-9300.
Whether it’s a cookout, a family reunion, a hike, or even just an evening stroll, please be sure to spend some time outside this month and enjoy all that Fairfax County Parks have to offer.