Get Out and Play: How Healthier Generation Staff Stay Active in the Northeast
This post is part of Healthier Generation’s summer blog series highlighting creative ways to keep kids fed, active and engaged all summer long.
Parks are the heart of every community and an integral part of a city’s design. They have the power to bring people together through physical activity, provide learning opportunities in wildlife exploration and bring clarity of mind for emotional well-being.
In honor of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Park and Recreation Month, we asked some our staff — who span the country working toward our mission of giving every child a healthy future — to share their favorite local parks and what activities they enjoy doing there.
Here is part 2 of 4, highlighting parks from the northeastern part of the United States:
New York, NY
"Rockefeller State Park Reserve is one of my favorite places all year round! With over 1,425 acres to explore, a walk in the snow, around the lake, or hike in the summer is an amazing getaway from the everyday monotony or reliance on technology. It is always an amazing opportunity to connect with nature and my inner spirit and self. Animal sightings from horses and cows, to foxes and coyotes always make the adventure even more fun!"
-Lauren Puzen, Partnership Manager
"Growing up in Washington, D.C., my favorite park was my neighborhood park, Friendship “Turtle” Park, which I considered my home-away-from-home. I spent several summers at camp there, first learned how to play tennis on their courts, and my first business experience was holding lemonade stands there on Saturday afternoons with my best friend. This park always holds a special place in my heart and reminds me of all the great childhood adventures I was fortunate to have!"
-Stephanie Keefe, Healthy Schools & Communities Program Manager
"Waterfront Park is in the center of downtown. It’s a perfect green space with a great boardwalk that runs along the Merrimack River, which you can see opening to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the ideal place to have a picnic, play with your dogs, hop on a boat and watch the tide roll away. It also plays host to a variety of exercise classes and plenty of live entertainment from local theater performances to world class bands during Newburyport’s events such as the Yankee Homecoming and Riverfront Music Festival. There are numerous boat trips to take directly from the boardwalk, including my personal favorite, Ninth Wave Sailing Charters.
My other favorites include Maudslay State Park and Parker River Wildlife Refuge. Maudslay State Park is a historic site located along the Merrimack River, featuring 19th century gardens and plantings, rolling meadows and towering pines. The winter months are perfect for watching bald eagles perch, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, or sledding with your dogs! I’ve been frolicking through Maudslay since I could walk. Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of more than 4,700 pristine acres of diverse habitats with over 300 species of resident and migratory birds. The most abundant habitat on the refuge is its more than 3,000 acres of salt marsh, one of the most productive ecosystems in nature. In addition to its mission of wildlife conservation, the refuge provides a variety of excellent wildlife-dependent recreational activities, such as fishing, kayaking, photography, wildlife viewing and environmental education. I ride my bike here all summer!"
-Rose Andreottola, HR Generalist
If these are in your area, we hope you’ll visit and try a new activity! And if not, we hope you’re inspired to get out there, explore and play in your local parks. Tweet us @HealthierGen to share your favorite neighborhood park and #HealthySummer activities!