Melinda and Chris King walk their dog, Tillie, at Landa Park on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.

It’s summer in New Braunfels and it’s hot — like, really hot. 

But the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is still giving New Braunfelsers a reason to get out and about in the city’s parks this July as it celebrates its 15th Parks and Recreation Month.  

Offering citizens swag and a chance to participate in the department’s social media contest, the month is aimed at sharing with New Braunfelsers the benefits of getting out to local parks. 

“There are many benefits to going to the park, both physically and mentally,” said Stacey Dicke, director of parks and recreation for the city. 

This month, the department will be taking it’s “Rec and Roll” trailer out to a different city park each Saturday morning to hand out swag and involve passersby in fun activities, Dicke said.

“Last Saturday was Fischer Park, this Saturday will be Morningside Park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., so come out — the first 25 people get free swag and are also entered to win a grand prize, if you post a picture on Instagram and hashtag it #GameOnNB,” said Megan Foster, marketing coordinator for the department.

After a formal declaration naming July as Parks and Recreation Month for the city of New Braunfels at Monday night’s city council meeting, Wayne Peters, mayor pro tem, named many of the benefits to getting out and about at local parks.

“Parks and recreation programs are an integral part of the communities throughout this country including New Braunfels,” Peters said during the declaration. “Our parks and recreation are vitally important in establishing and maintaining the quality of life in our communities, ensuring the health of all citizens, and contributing to the economic and environmental wellbeing of a community and region.” 

There are many mentally healthy benefits to parks as well, such as connecting with nature, Dicke said.

“Parks and recreation programs build healthy, active communities that add aid in the prevention of chronic disease, provide therapeutic recreation services for those who mentally or physically disabled, and also improve the mental and emotional health of all citizens,” Peters said.

The New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department has celebrated parks month annually since 2004, Dicke said. 

“The US House of Representatives has designated July as Parks and Recreation Month,” Peters said.

Dicke said she hopes the month will inspire folks to get up and go see one of New Braunfels’ beautiful scenic parks, especially any park they haven’t yet visited.

“It’s a chance for New Braunfels to get their game face on,” Dicke said. “Game on, New Braunfels.”

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