Recreation Programming Encourages Use of Environments

Building recreation infrastructure such as trails, shared-use paths, and ball fields certainly promotes healthy activities.  However, simply building them is not enough to persuade many community members to become involved in what is offered. 

In order to gain the most from these opportunities, it is best if community members are connected with the process from the beginning.  Ideally, those interested understand the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle, get involved in the planning, and form partnerships with others engaged in the development. 

Once involved, community members will feel more thoroughly connected to what is built and will utilize what their neighborhood facilities provide.  The feeling of ownership of the recreation infrastructure gives community members an added stake in society and promotes additional use of the area around them.  It allows people with similar interests more opportunities to get together at a location convenient to everyone.

International City/County Management Association (ICMA)

  1. Case studies on local parks and recreation PDF icon that illustrate how citizen advisory groups, surveys, and citizen involvement can help shape recreation programming based on the needs of a community
  2. Resources for local governments and school districts regarding collaboration on recreation programming and shared use of recreational facilities, including joint-use agreements

Leadership for Healthy Communities
Suggestions, resources and examples to guide policy-makers PDF icon when seeking to increase physical activity and decrease obesity in school-age children

View/download this section of the resource guide. (pp. 83-91) PDF icon
View/download the resource guide to read more on this section. PDF icon