July is Parks and Recreation Month, which means you and your citizens get 31 days to celebrate all the parks, pools, lakes, and trails that are loved in your community. Established by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Parks and Recreation Month aims to encourage both children and adults to get out and be active in the community, and to encourage physical health and mental wellbeing. Thanks to the efforts of NRPA, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an official resolution for Parks and Recreation Month in 2009, which means we’ll be celebrating our community parks every July for years to come.
To help you celebrate Parks and Recreation month this year, and encourage your citizens to get active and celebrate with you, we’ve provided seven tips for promoting this month-long event in your community.
1. Promote the Theme. This year’s month-long theme is “Get Your Play On.” To help encourage play in your community, organize weekly events that encourage a variety of different types off active play, like a Zumbathon, a community scavenger hunt, or a family fun run.
2. Promote on Social Media. Start promoting Parks and Recreation Month activities in your community now. Once July arrives, post at least three times a week with a variety of messages. Share tips for being active, fun facts about the importance of being healthy, or the history of local sports. Share photos and videos of events that take place during the month, and even consider broadcasting events live on social media or via your civic website. Be sure to use relevant hashtags, including the hashtag for this year’s theme: #PlayOnJuly
3. Add to Community Calendars. Be sure to post all your July play activities to your community calendars on your civic website to generate awareness and encourage participation. If your parks and rec software offers integrated marketing features, leverage them to promote sign ups and attendance at every event throughout the month as well.
4. Submit a Press Release to Local Media. Work with your local media outlets to spread the word about the importance of being active and celebrating Parks and Recreation Month. Submit a press release to all your media outlets and encourage them to cover local events.
5. Get Elected Officials Involved. The best leaders lead by example. Encourage your local elected officials to help you promote Parks and Recreation Month. Ask that they post and share information on their social media profiles and mention upcoming events at relevant speaking engagements. Encourage them to attend events as well. The opportunity to hit a home run pitched by the mayor is the type of opportunity that will encourage overwhelming participation.
6. Make it Competitive. Create a month-long competition in which every citizen can participate. Ask for submissions of photos that show play in your community, or offer an award for the family that provides the most pairs of lightly used sneakers for donation to a charity that repurposes them.
7. Throw a Party. Being active and enjoying everything that’s natural and beautiful about your community is an excellent reason to party. Our CivicRec team will be throwing our own party during July at a park in our community, and encourage all local governments to do the same.