Parks anchor a city by providing open spaces

Paige Zezulka


Paige Zezulka

Olbrich Park is one of many in the Madison area.

Paige Zezulka, Managing Editor

 Whether you go to get some physical exercise, enjoy an afternoon with a loved one, or search for peace within bird sounds and horizons, public parks are there for our community in a variety of ways.  

Visiting parks improves the physical and mental health of all ages from young children to the elderly. Whether you are kayaking, fishing, going on a morning jog, playing tennis or just hammocking with a book in hand, the bountiful space parks provide enhances physical exercise and lowers stress levels.  

Recreational areas also help maintain the environment in which we live. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, public lands “are proven to improve water quality, protect groundwater, prevent flooding, improve the quality of the air we breathe, provide vegetative buffers to development, [and] produce habitat for wildlife” 

Let’s not forget about the economic impact parks have on cities and towns. Parks are an essential part of a city’s economy. They increase property values, broaden local tax bases, increase local business purchases and provide hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the nation.  

“When combined with the National Park Service and state park systems, public parks are responsible for $200 billion in annual economic activity,” according to a NRPA report in 2016. 

Parks also satisfy social needs by providing safe areas for people to gather. They are the perfect place to watch a colorful sunset with friends, gather for a fundraising event or have a picnic with family.  

Public parks serve as an escape from the constant hustle and bustle of a city. They offer people the opportunity to slow down, reflect and connect with what really matters in life, nature’s gifts. 

As our communities continue to grow, land is going to become more and more scarce. So having land available for free, such as city parks, reminds us to stay in tune with nature. As we stay in tune with it, we stay in tune with ourselves.