June 5, 2023
Get Outdoors with Healthier Generation
Since the first Great Outdoors Month in June 2019, communities across the country have celebrated the whole person health benefits of spending time outside. These benefits include higher motivation to be physically active, lowered risk of chronic illnesses, lower risk of depression, and faster psychological stress recovery.
People also experience community-level health benefits when outdoor spaces are accessible, safe, affordable, and well maintained. Local parks and recreation centers are hubs for public health services, including food assistance, community clinics, physical activity, youth sports, family engagement events, and more!
We all need tools, supportive friends and family, safe environments, and sound infrastructure to be able to fully enjoy our time outside. The Healthier Generation team has shared some of our favorite activities and the ways we get ourselves out the door.
Read about Our Outdoor Adventures
"Los Angeles has no shortage of hiking trails. However, with traffic and parking, it can be a challenge to get to the trailheads. On days when I want to get in a hike without the hassle, I hop on this amazing urban trail developed by Los Angeles County. Here’s a photo of my amazing colleague, Yasemin Corzo, and I taking a break from looking at each other on the computer screen and getting some social connection in real life."
– Ani Tarpinian, Program Manager, Healthy Schools and Communities
"There are so many ways that I enjoy the outdoors, and it has frequently changed over the years according to my family, age, health (bad knees), location, appreciation for different things, and time. However, what is most important is that I always find a way to enjoy and appreciate being outside, whether that is mowing the grass with my headphones on, taking in my favorite music and enjoying the smell of fresh cut grass, walking my dogs through my favorite neighborhood, and saying hello to friendly neighbors. You might find me boating on The Lake of the Ozarks with my family and stopping for an occasional swim!"
– Terry Atteberry, Manager, Business Development
"One of my favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors is to hold gatherings for collective rest and restoration for the Black community. With histories tied to exploitation and plantation labor - being of service to my community and offering a space to pause and take back our time in ways that nourish our minds, bodies, and spirits (especially in the face of hustle and grind culture) makes me feel incredibly alive."
– Krista Washington, Vice President, Brand & Communications
"My favorite way to enjoy the outdoors is exploring geology in remote areas near Lake Superior in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. I hike and bike while I'm there, but more than anything I simply enjoy the solitude. Here I am at "Magnetic Rock" in Minnesota, "a 60-foot rock with strong magnetic attraction," per USFS. And here is a picture from a snowmobile trail I (as a city boy from Chicago) thought was okay to drive my FWD Rav4 on. It was not. I quickly learned the importance of well-cleared roadways!"
– Andrew Kamm, Director of Software Engineering
"I live in a big city and am a big fan of my local public parks! Going for a long walk after work in Prospect Park helps me escape the noise of the city and clear my mind. I’m grateful for my local parks department for all the work they do to keep my favorite walking paths safe, accessible, and serene. Bonus points when I spot a cool bird, like a tufted titmouse or a red-winged blackbird!"
– Naomi Heisler, Manager, Marketing Operations
"My family loves to be outside! We have raised beds in our backyard where we grow all types of veggies: tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and more. Plus, we love to explore new parks, beaches, and hike in our home state of Delaware."
– Mary Elizabeth Sullivan, Director, Corporate Sponsorships & Events
"My son and I love exploring national parks through hiking and picnicking. With his kid-size Osprey backpack, we enjoy the beauty of these places and experience magical micro-moments of connection and calm that make us feel safe and regulated. Here’s a photo of us hiking and exploring Crater Lake in Oregon."
– Bethany Younkers, Virtual Content Manager
"One of my favorite ways to enjoy nature is walking. Even better, walking with my brother, mom, and our three dogs. We explore a nature area where we all can roam free, take deep breaths, and view all sorts of wildlife like bald eagles, blue herons, and “bun-buns” aka bunnies! We can walk at a pace that suits all of us and on most days, we have our rain jackets and hats since we live in Portland, OR. I look forward to this daily ritual because it is a great way to connect with each other and the beautiful outdoors."
– Nicole Dufour, Associate Director, Marketing Operations
"I’m a self-identified 'indoor enthusiast,' but I have been getting more into hiking local trails and historic bridges within a short drive from my home in San Diego. Many of the sidewalks around my house are closed off due to road construction, so I feel fortunate to live close to public greenspaces. I love seeing people of all ages with bikes, scooters, and mobility devices on the trails. Cheers to all the volunteers and park workers who help keep San Diego greenspaces safe and beautiful! Here I am with my partner finally getting outside after the rainy season with Dracula-approved sun gear and mobility aids, exploring one of the canyon trails in a nearby neighborhood. Look at that superbloom!"
– Kohleun Adamson, Manager, Culturally Responsive Communication
"Although we live in the city and don’t have access to a lot of nature, my husband, toddler (Evie), and I try to take walks through our local parks to explore birds, wildflowers, playgrounds, and puddles as often as we can! Our dog, Toula, loves to come along with us. We also recently visited a beautiful conservatory in Chicago where Evie got to feed fish and turtles!"
– Jessica Reggi, National Advisor, Whole Child Health
"My husband and I spent our anniversary, which happens to land on Earth Day, celebrating the outdoors and nature! We went on a hike in Sam Houston National Forest where we trekked over streams and through palm fronds, spotting rabbits, frogs, and a snake along the way! Then we visited the Cockrell Butterfly Center exhibit at The Houston Museum of Natural Science – so many butterflies, so much fun and beauty!"
– Audrey Rodriguez, Strategic Communications Manager
"I love being outdoors. It makes me feel connected to my family, my community, and my planet. I live in Spokane, WA, where our city motto is “near nature, near perfect” and I couldn’t agree more. I am grounded when I get to enjoy the bounty from my chickens and garden, as I bike with my family through our town past the landmarks that anchor our family to our city, and explore the possibilities for adventure that spark wonder and delight while hopefully inspiring a love for the outdoors for my daughter. This year I kicked off spring break with a trip to Bitterroot Mountains on the Idaho-Montana border to teach my daughter to snowboard. This month marks the three-year anniversary of my daughter learning to ride a bike, our family’s primary mode of transportation. I can’t wait to get outdoors next."
– Melissa Carpenter, Program Manager, Healthy Schools and Communities
"As a native Houstonian, I enjoy the calming beauty of local green spaces like Hermann Park. And in recent years, I have appreciated exploring natural wonders in places like Southern California and Arizona. There’s nothing like a beachside stroll on a bright summer day, and I’ve been fortunate to walk the beaches of Catalina Island and Corona Del Mar. More recently, I visited Arizona for the first time! I hiked amazing trails at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Fort Lowell Park. Feeling a sense of inclusivity, safety, and access is important for any outdoor environment, especially as a woman of color who travels solo quite often. In the future, I hope to encourage solo travel more and share tips for others who might be interested!"
– Nicole Blanton, Manager, Culturally Responsive Communication
Happy Great Outdoors Month! We’d love to know how you are celebrating. Share your #GreatOutdoorsMonth photos and tag us @HealthierGeneration on Instagram and @HealthierGen on Twitter.
Stay healthy all summer with additional resources: