Today is the first day of spring! With the changing of the season, new wellness opportunities arise. Spring’s the perfect time to get outside, eat in-season fruits and vegetables, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. This wellness blog will give your department a few ideas to help celebrate spring in your community.
According to the NCRPA Wellness Toolkit, over 60% of NC Children do not eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Luckily, springtime means a variety of North Carolina produce comes back into season. From now until June, everything from asparagus to strawberries (my personal favorite) will be at their peak ripeness. A great resource I like to use to figure out what is in season is the North Carolina Produce Availability Chart. This local produce can become a great asset to your department. To learn more about using local produce in your agency programs, check out the NCRPA Wellness Toolkit.
Another exciting thing about spring is all of the plants that come back to life in our parks. These plants hold a great opportunity to get people excited about coming out and enjoying your park. If your agency has any green spaces that a lot of wildflowers bloom in, there are a few easy tips to get people even more excited about coming to check them out.
An example of a great program idea to get people out to your parks is to hold a “wildflower pilgrimage” similar to the one that Great Smoky Mountain National Park holds annually. For 67 years, people have flocked to the Smokies to partake in the pilgrimage to see all of the wildflowers. Although this is an example of a large-scale program, your department can hold similar events. Find out when the wildflowers will be at their peak and invite your community out. Set up a few simple flower crafts, educate the public about the types of flowers they will be seeing, and offer additional springtime activities - the possibilities are endless! This type of event gets people up and walking around your park - something that is always encouraged!
Additionally, spring brings the opportunity to move programs back outside. I personally love this shift, and really enjoy getting back outside for athletics. One thing to keep in mind is the chance to take some traditional indoor programs outside. Yoga and pilates are great candidates for offering outdoor classes. If you are even more ambitious, try an outdoor basketball or dodgeball league. Not only can participants take in the scenery, but they can also take in extra Vitamin D from the sun. Doing something like this can inject new life into your traditional programming.
One tip that you can take to personally improve your health and wellness is to take advantage of the longer days. Daylights saving time kicked in and although we lost an hour of sleep, we gained an hour of sunlight. Use this extra daylight to get outside and active after your workday.
I hope that this wellness blog has given you some ways to celebrate spring in your department! If your department has any unique springtime wellness programs, I'd love to know about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org