A Tree for Your Health and Your Wealth

Local parks and recreation services offer countless value to our residents and counties. Three benefits were explored today in a MACo Winter Conference Session.

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Delegate Otto introduces a panel on the value of parks, noting the 100 year anniversary of our national park service.

In Reconomics 101: Local Parks Yield Big Returns, attendees learned about innovative programs and services being offered by local parks and recreation from county parks and recreation specialists.

Rick Anthony, Director, Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks described the economic value of parks, including the revenues brought in by parks that serve as wedding venues, and that provide water access. Anthony shared,

Recreation and parks departments are one of the few county departments that have the capacity to raise revenue.

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Montgomery Parks: a prescription for your health.

Mitra Pedoeem, Acting Deputy Director, Montgomery County Parks described how access to nature through our parks can increase residents’ health, not only improving quality of life, but creating long term community savings. Pedoeem stated,

Green spaces are needed and we have to protect them.

Susan C. Simmons, Director, Caroline County Recreation & Parks shared how to connect residents to the mission of preserving the environment through parks. Preservation of natural resources is only possible through outreach. Simmons said,

Connecting people with the natural world requires sacrifice, curiosity, and persistence.

The session was moderated by The Honorable Charles J. Otto, Maryland House of Delegates, who noted the value of state and national parks in addition to local open spaces.