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National Parks and Recreation Month

National Parks and Recreation Month

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) designated July as America’s official Park and Recreation month in 1985. The goal of this month is to both encourage people to explore, enjoy and celebrate our local area parks and recreation centers, and to give recognition to the hundreds of thousand of full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers and volunteers who help maintain our country’s local, state, and community parks.

The theme for July 2023 is “Where Community Grows” and was chosen to celebrate the vital role park and recreation professionals play in bringing people together, providing essential services and fostering the growth of our communities.

Park and Recreation Professionals Day is Friday, July 21, 2023! This is a day to celebrate all of the dedicated professionals who build strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation.

Local parks and recreation areas

City of Portland Parks & Recreation
There is so much to explore with Portland Parks and Recreation. Find your local pool, park or center and take a class, go for a swim, reserve a picnic site, or enjoy some natural beauty.

City of Hillsboro Parks and Recreation
Hillsboro offers hundreds of programs year-round for all ages including recreational, educational, youth development and cultural classes, adult sports leagues and elementary and middle school after-school programs and summer camp.

Metro Parks and Natural Areas
Explore 17,000 acres of parks, trails and natural areas across the Portland metropolitan region.” Includes an interactive park finder.

North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District
Offers more than 39 parks, 25 natural areas, 15 miles of trails including the 6-mile Trolley Trail, Mount Talbert Nature Park, and three facilities: Hood View Sports Complex, the North Clackamas Aquatic Park, and the Milwaukie Center.

City of Tigard Parks and Recreation
The City of Tigard provides healthy and diverse recreational opportunities through programs, events, parks, and natural areas, for all ages and abilities.

Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD)
THPRD is the largest special park district in Oregon, spanning about 50 square miles and serving 250,000 residents in the greater Beaverton, OR, area. THPRD provides year-round recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Offerings include thousands of diverse classes, more than 95 park sites with active recreational amenities, 70 miles of trails, eight swim centers, six recreation centers, and 1,500 acres of natural areas.

Recommended books

Conservation for cities: how to plan and build natural infrastructure
A comprehensive framework for maintaining the strengthening the supporting bonds between cities and nature.

Designing greenways: sustainable landscapes for nature and people
Learn about ways to protect landscape, allow wildlife to move freely, and find appropriate ways to bring people into nature.

Dispossessing: The wilderness Indian removal and the making of the national parks
National parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier preserve some of this country’s most cherished wilderness landscapes. While visions of pristine, uninhabited nature led to the creation of these parks, they also inspired policies of Indian removal.

A Forest in the city: your guide to Tryon Creek State Park
A guide to Oregon’s only state park within a major metropolitan area. This park is located only 15 minutes from downtown Portland.

The Park builders: A history of state parks in the pacific northwest
This book includes the unique history of individuals who shaped the park movement in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.

Urban trails: Portland: Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Troutdale
Learn about the opportunities for wandering the banks and wetlands of Portland’s three major rivers, as well as hiking on volcanic buttes, strolling through community gardens, discovering historic sites, and walking urban footpaths.

Recommended videos

10 Parks that changed America
This video tells the story of ten visionaries who took open canvases of land and transformed them into serene spaces that offer city dwellers a respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Art that changed America: Yellowstone: the first national park
The first dedicated national park anywhere in the world, Yellowstone attracts 318 million visitors every year. It was saved for posterity by the work of two pioneering artists.

ASA National Parks
The Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division helps national parks understand the condition of their resources. In this video, explore noise and light pollution and their effects.

City Parks
Even in ancient times, city dwellers needed a scenic break from the urban landscape. But parks play a more important role than mere relief from tension.

The first 70
The First 70 is an inspiring journey through 70 of California’s majestic state parks.

Going to green: Episode 9: Parks & open spaces
This video examines the importance parks and open spaces have on their communities.