Let's go to the park and play

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Clay County has many public parks, three in Brazil (Forest Park, Craig Park and Babe Wheeler) and one each in the surrounding communities of Center Point, Carbon, Clay City, Coalmont, Cory, Knightsville, Poland, Saline City and Staunton.

Many of life's important moments take place or are celebrated at these parks, such as engagement parties and weddings, baby showers, birthdays, reunions and other family gatherings. Community events like outdoor concerts, 4-H events, pet health clinics, educational field trips, holiday celebrations and fundraising efforts go on year round and are only a few things that happen locally.

Parks also provide unseen benefits.

Bike paths, ball diamonds, soccer fields and a simple playground have a tendency to get all ages moving while visiting a park. There's not much exercise while sitting in front of a television, computer or video game, or actual personal contact with others.

These activities also provide free entertainment possibilities for people of all ages.

Discovering the beauty of nature at a park has a two-fold affect on people and our communities.

Children and adults alike enjoy the benefits of a direct experience while strolling through flower gardens or the trees. It's an opportune time to learn more about nature and the importance of preservation and conservation. This could potentially motivate all age groups to explore, discover and learn more about the world around them, while engaging in health-promoting activities.

Another simple one is the abundance of trees and flora, which provide shade and cooler temperatures during hot days, help to improve air quality by removing pollutants from the atmosphere.

Whether used by groups of people watching a little league ball game at a reunion, a family out for a picnic or by a father and son working on a school project about various tree leaves, access to parks is important.

As residents we need to take an interest in our parks. Attend recreational opportunities -- shoot some hoops, enjoy a band concert, go to a ball game, push your child while they swing high into the sky or go on a picnic -- and enjoy the day.

But clean up after yourselves. As "Woodsy Owl" used to say a long time ago, "Give a hoot! Don't pollute!"