hiking 071421OAKBROOK TERRACEIn celebration of National Park and Recreation Month, State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) is highlighting the numerous benefits public parks and other natural spaces bring to communities.

“Local parks and other public spaces give residents, families and visitors of all ages a place to gather and enjoy being outdoors,” Glowiak Hilton said. “While recovering from the pandemic’s challenges, National Park and Recreation Month is a wonderful opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature safely.”

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.

“Parks bring so much life to our communities,” Glowiak Hilton said. “I encourage all residents to take an opportunity to appreciate the parks, trails and other outdoor spaces in our area.”

Learn more about local parks and public events by visiting the park district websites for Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Western Springs, Westmont and Wheaton.