Summer 2023 Director’s Letter

Letter from the Director

This summer we are again officially proclaiming July as Park & Recreation Month, and encouraging our community to visit local parks and recreation areas. These areas and the professionals who maintain and operate them play a vital role in bringing people together, providing essential services and fostering the growth of our community. Since 1985, the National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA) has encouraged communities across the Country to celebrate July as parks and reaction month.   

Airway Heights Parks & Recreation serves as a Community Wellness Hub for members of the greater West Plains community, connecting all members of the community to programs and services that advance health equity, improve health outcomes, and enhance quality of life.  

On a national level, people place a high value on programs and services that park and recreation agencies deliver every day, and strongly support their mission. Living close to parks and other recreation facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth. Moreover, parks provide a connection to nature, which studies demonstrate relieves stress, strengthens interpersonal relationships, and improves mental health.  

75 million people in the Unites States visited a local park or recreation facility during the past year.

84% of U.S. adults say access to a nearby park, playground, open space, or recreation center is an important factor in deciding where they want to live.

Nearly 3 in 5 adults say access to local parks and recreation is very or extremely essential to their mental and physical health.

9 in 10 people agree that parks and recreation is an important service provided by their local government. According to a 2022 NRPA poll, more than three in five U.S. adults say they are likely to vote for a political candidate who makes parks and reaction funding a priority.  

Our Airway Heights Parks & Recreation staff strive every day to make a positive impact on our community members and are dedicated to building a stronger, more vibrant and resilient community all year long. We are encouraging everyone to participate in the activities we have planned in July (see page 35). Visit a park and recreation area during July and discover for yourself “Where Community Grows”.


Thank you,

J.C. Kennedy

Parks & Recreation Director