bennett park 072321CHAMPAIGN – During National Park and Recreation Month, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is drawing attention to the many benefits of public parks and other natural spaces across Champaign and Vermilion Counties.

“National Parks and Recreation Month is a great time to highlight the beauty of our open spaces,” Bennett said. “We’re fortunate to have a variety of parks in our communities, and the summer months are a great time to visit them and explore.”

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, parks play an important role in maintaining quality of life in a community. Parks provide gathering places for members of a community to interact with each other, host public events and offer recreational programs.

Additionally, parks provide a public place where people can go to keep healthy and fit. A Penn State University study showed that the length of visits to parks has a connection with reductions in stress, lowered blood pressure, and perceived physical health.

Parks also provide an economic benefit to their communities. A review by Texas A&M University found that parks and open space raise nearby property values and increase revenue from tourism. Trees and other growth are also estimated to save cities money in environmental impacts and the effects of storms.

“July is a month to celebrate the wonderful role that parks play in our communities,” Bennett said. “I encourage folks to get active, get outside and visit our parks and facilities.”

Learn more about local parks and public events by visiting the park district websites for Champaign Park District, Kickapoo State Park, Urbana Park District and Vermilion County Conservation District.