Those of you who know American Water know that we have a great partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which includes awarding millions of dollars in grants through the American Water Charitable Foundation to support communities’ water stewardship and natural-resource conservation initiatives.
What I would love to talk about today is NRPA’s celebration of National Park and Recreation Month, held every July. The three pillars of NRPA’s mission—conservation, health and wellness, and social equity—closely align with the mission and vision of American Water. Whether we are working to bring customers safe, clean, and reliable water, supporting local conservation initiatives or contributing to global missions by delivering water to third-world countries, we build on those pillars. This is why, every summer, we get excited to see what the focus of National Park and Recreation Month will be. This year’s theme, A Lifetime of Discovery, certainly does not disappoint!
Think about the last time you were at a park. How many families did you see? Do you have childhood memories there? Are your children now experiencing what it has to offer? Parks and recreation areas are very much a generational asset to our lives. While other forms of entertainment, methods to stay healthy and technologies designed to make our lives better will come and go, parks are a constant. They offer universal appeal. They provide, as this month’s focus tells us, a lifetime of discovery, fun and opportunities for generation after generation.
For this reason, each July, and often at other times of the year, American Water reminds our communities about the importance of respecting the water resources that make parks and recreation areas the wonderful places they are. From the beautiful flora and amazing wildlife that inhabit them to all the activities you can enjoy in and on the water, parks are assets that need to be kept healthy and available for future generations. That requires us to help preserve and protect these treasures by exploring responsibly every time we visit. So, as you enjoy the great outdoors this summer, remember a few helpful tips:
- Always dispose of litter in appropriate receptacles.
- Take care not to “over fish” lakes and streams.
- Never put wildlife in danger by compromising their habitats or their live. For example, stick to designated riding trails when taking a bike ride.
- Take time to learn about the park’s conservation efforts and how you can support them.
- Use eco-friendly products, such as reusable water bottles, to reduce your carbon footprint.
Plus, don’t forget to discover more of what your favorite parks and recreation centers have to offer. The more valuable they are to you, the more inspired you’ll be to tap into the opportunities they offer, as well as to understand the role that communities and individuals play in keeping these resources thriving.