Parks are at the center of so many experiences, memories, and milestones – moments that park and recreation professionals make happen. The U.S. House of Representatives has designated July as Park and Recreation Month, emphasizing the outsized role parks play in regards to social equity, personal wellness, and community resiliency. At Asheville City Council’s most recent meeting, Mayor Esther Manheimer proclaimed July as Asheville Parks and Recreation Month.
Community members are invited to explore a park or greenway, connect with neighbors over cultural and leisure programming, and discover all the city’s parks, pools, community centers, and other facilities have to offer. Asheville Parks & Recreation team members will hand out jump ropes, totes, water bottles, stickers, and other useful items before a free public showing of Disney’s Jungle Cruise during Movies in the Park on July 8 at 8:30 p.m. to help celebrate.
The full text of the proclamation reads:
WHEREAS equitable and accessible parks, recreation, and active living experiences are essential to communities throughout Asheville, allowing residents to explore, connect, and discover; and
WHEREAS Asheville Parks and Recreation promotes resiliency by providing better mental health, improved physical health, increased physical activity, and opportunities to counter social isolation through safe multigenerational places for arts and culture, fitness, sports, leisure activities, adaptive and inclusive therapeutic play, greenways, pools, and other areas to promote healthy, active communities; and
WHEREAS parks, recreation, and education activities, such as after school programs and youth sports, are critical to childhood development and foster civic pride, imagination and creativity, healthy habits, teamwork, social equity, emotional stability, mutual trust, and environmental responsibility; and
WHEREAS Asheville Parks and Recreation is a provider of nutrition hubs that supply healthy meals, nutrition resources, seed libraries, edible vegetation for urban foraging, and community gardens; and
WHEREAS the City of Asheville’s recreational, educational, and entertainment assets drive economic opportunity by expanding the local tax base through support of the outdoor economy, spaces for festivals, increased educational and entertainment attractions, recruitment and retention of businesses, crime reduction, and direct employment of 117 full-time and 100 temporary and seasonal team members; and
WHEREAS well-maintained, greener parks are essential and adaptable infrastructure that make our area resilient in the face of natural disasters and climate change, providing cost-effective and sustainable environmental solutions while preserving the culture, beauty, and well-being of our neighborhoods; and
WHEREAS parks and natural areas enhance water quality, prevent flooding, improve air quality, provide vegetative buffers to development, maintain the urban tree canopy, and produce habitats for wildlife; and
WHEREAS Asheville Parks and Recreation is essential in addressing Asheville City Council’s priorities of improving and expanding core services, neighborhood resilience, and reimagining public safety.
THEREFORE, I, Esther Manheimer, Mayor of the City of Asheville, do hereby proclaim July 2022 as
ASHEVILLE PARKS AND RECREATION MONTH
and encourage all of Asheville’s residents to partake and enjoy all the parks the City has to offer.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Asheville, North Carolina to be affixed this 28th day of June 2022.
Asheville Parks & Recreation
Established in 1956, the Asheville Parks & Recreation Department manages a unique collection of more than 65 public parks, playgrounds, and open spaces throughout the city in a system that also includes full-complex recreation centers, swimming pools, Riverside Cemetery, sports fields and courts, and community centers that offer a variety of wellness-, education-, and culture-related programs for Ashevillians of all ages. With 8 miles of paved greenways and numerous natural surface trails, its complete portfolio acts as the foundation of a vibrant hub for the people of Asheville to connect with their neighbors and explore the natural beauty of a livable and walkable city.
Driven by the promise that Asheville is a better and safer place when everyone from infants to retirees has the opportunity to be supported, healthy, and successful, Asheville Parks & Recreation was the first nationally-accredited municipal recreation department in the United States. For the latest updates, follow the department on Facebook @aprca and Instagram @ashevilleparksandrecreation or visit www.ashevillenc.gov/parks.