July is Park and Recreation Month, and in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, we’re sharing a few stories of how to make the most of this year’s “Get Your Play On” theme. When we think of the words “parks” and “play,” we immediately look to a couple of our dedicated partners who are modeling the way for parks and recreation agencies across the country.
In the Chicago Park District, what started as a small partnership with Marathon Kids and Nike in 2016 has more than doubled in size this summer. The Marathon Kids run clubs at Horner, Eckhart, Washington, Dvorak, Lindblom and Blackhawk parks have all teamed up to make this summer of running the best one yet. Over 800 kids have accepted the challenge of trying to run the distance of four marathons (104.8 miles) over the course of their summer season. They’ve committed to doing their best and encouraging their teammates to do the same, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish!
Joining the Chicago Park District in getting outside and enjoying the summer weather is the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Over the past two seasons, nearly 400 kids have experienced the joy of getting physically active in their community’s parks. As Stephen Makle, the Youth Services Coordinator for the Special Services Division of the MNCPPC says, “We believe in the mission of Marathon Kids and its researched approach in helping young people to stay active and enjoy running. For us, this coincides with our goals in helping to reduce obesity, provide opportunities for lifetime leisure and improving the overall health of the citizens of Prince George’s County, Maryland.”
We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the outdoors and the beauty of our country’s parks than by lacing up our shoes and hitting the trails with our Marathon Kids run clubs. For our kids, running is synonymous with freedom. Combine that with a beautiful summer day, a challenging trail and a supportive community, Marathon Kids runners are perfectly positioned to show the rest of the country just how easy it is to “Get Your Play On.”
To learn more about how to get involved with the National Recreation and Park Association for Park and Recreation Month, find local events near you, and participate in the Park and Recreation Month photo contest, we encourage you to visit the NRPA’s website.
Get your play on!