Benefits of Recreation and Parks

Kids canoeing

Recreation and Parks agencies are leaders in improving the overall health and wellness throughout the nation and play a major role in enhancing the physical, social, behavioral, environmental, and mental health of our communities of all abilities, ages, social-economic backgrounds, and ethnicities. They are essential partners in combating some of the most complicated challenges our country faces such as poor nutrition, hunger, obesity, and physical inactivity.

Baltimore City Recreation and Parks continue to educate the citizens of Baltimore on the physical, social and mental benefits of leisure play, exercise, and fitness.

We offer a variety of programs, facilities, and services for low to no cost. From wellness and personal enrichment programs, over 250 parks, and an expansive trail system, the Department of Recreation and Parks offers benefits of all kinds to our residents!

Our Mission: To improve the health and wellness of Baltimore through quality recreational programs, preserving our parks and natural resources, and promoting fun, active lifestyles for all ages

Our Vision: To build a stronger Baltimore one community at a time through Conservation, Health, and Wellness, Social Equity.

  • Conservation- Parks are critical to the preservation of natural resources that have real economic benefits for communities. The Department serves as a strong voice in communities, as we advocate for protecting open space, connecting children to nature, improving our tree canopy, and providing education and programming that helps communities engage in conservation practices.
  • Health and Wellness- Recreation and Parks lead the nation in improving the overall health and wellness of communities. We are essential partners in combating some of the most complicated and expensive challenges our country faces - poor nutrition, hunger, obesity, and physical inactivity.
  • Social Equity- Universal access to public parks and recreation is a right, not just a privilege.  All people regardless of race, ethnicity, age, income level, or physical ability should have access to programs, facilities, places, and spaces that make their lives and communities are great. Parks and recreation truly build communities for all.

Other Benefits of Recreation and Parks Programs and Services:Kids gardening in Baltimore City

  • Helps reduce obesity and incidence of chronic disease by providing opportunities to increase rigorous physical activity in a variety of forms;
  • Provides a connection to nature which studies demonstrate relieves stress levels, tightens interpersonal relationships, and improves mental health;
  • Aids in reducing hunger in America and increasing access to nutritious food options; and
  • Fosters overall wellness and healthful habits and engaging in enrichment opportunities that add balance to life.
  • Parks and Recreation facilities are powerful engines of economic activity! Contributing to higher real estate values, tourism, and economic development, local parks, and recreation agencies generate over 150 billion dollars in economic activity nationally.

Monthly Highlight: Benefits of Regular Physical Activity ! by Mayo Clinic

You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? Find out how exercise can improve your life.

The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex, or physical ability. Need more convincing to get moving? Click here to check out the benefits of exercise!

Join Recreation and Parks to engage in the many physical, fitness, and fun activities we have to offer to get you up and moving. Explore our ongoing programming. Get Moving! What are your waiting for?

Click the National Recreation and Park Association articles below to read more about the benefits of Parks and Recreation: 

Energy Out: Daily Physical Activity Recommendations

Physical activity in children and adolescents improves strength and endurance, builds healthy bones and lean muscles, develops motor skills and coordination, reduces fat, and promotes emotional well-being by reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. Activities should be appropriate for their age and fun, as well as offer variety. The daily recommendation for physical activity for children 6 years and older is at least 60 minutes per day. Active play is the best exercise for younger children.

The types of physical activity should be moderate to vigorous. Vigorous activity is an activity that makes you breathe hard and sweat. During vigorous activity, it would be difficult to have a talk with someone. Some activities, such as bicycling, can be of moderate or vigorous intensity, depending upon the level of effort.

The 60 minutes do not need to be done all at once. Physical activity can be broken down into shorter blocks of time. For example, 20 minutes walking to and from school, 10 minutes jumping rope, and 30 minutes at the playground all add up to 60 minutes of physical activity. If your child is not active, start from where you are and build from there.

Types of Sports and Activities for Children and Teens (and Parents, Too!)
Aerobic Exercises use the body's large muscle groups and strengthen the heart and lungs.
Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises include:

Many of the recommended physical activities are provided at your area recreation center for children and adults. Check out the many activities Baltimore City Recreation and Parks has to offer and register today.