Month-long celebration, themed “Where Community Grows,” highlights how parks and recreation has improved lives.
Published: July 20, 2023
Since 1985, people in the United States have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation and to recognize the more than 160,000 full-time park and recreation professionals — along with hundreds of thousands of part-time and seasonal workers and volunteers — that maintain our country’s local, state and community parks.
This year’s month-long celebration is themed “Where Community Grows” and honors the stories of how communities across the country are stronger, more vibrant, and more resilient because of parks and recreation. Additionally, NRPA is celebrating 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 make a positive impact on their community members every single day.
In advance of July each year, NRPA issues a call for photo submissions to be featured on its July cover of Parks & Recreation Magazine. This year’s winner highlights a one-of-a-kind therapeutic recreation program in Glenwood Springs, Colorado that is making a big impact on the lives of its community members.
The program is designed to provide individuals with disabilities opportunities to participate in recreational activities, such as adaptive climbing, therapeutic gardening, fitness classes, art classes, swim lessons, whitewater rafting, playing in the park and more. This year’s cover photo features Isaac Alonso participating in a program designed to provide individuals with disabilities opportunities to participate in recreational activities, such as adaptive climbing, therapeutic gardening, fitness classes, art classes, swim lessons, whitewater rafting, playing in the park, and more.
At the center of the program is Helaine “Laine” Fabijanic, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist since 1998 who works in various settings — such as the clinical field, outdoor adventure, and community recreation. Although she has called Glenwood Springs home since 1999, she joined the City of Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation in January 2023 as the city’s first community and therapeutic recreation supervisor to lead the therapeutic recreation program, which launched only a few months earlier in 2022.
With its commitment to inclusion, community, and well-being, the therapeutic recreation program at Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation is a shining example of how parks and recreation can make a difference in the lives of every individual, despite their real or perceived limitations and truly build community. Read the cover story here.
To learn more about the ways to participate in Park and Recreation Month, visit nrpa.org/July.