JRPM and Intergenerational Day
June is Recreation and Parks Month (JRPM) recognizes the importance of recreation and parks to the wellbeing of our communities. There are a number of special days in June, which provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate the many benefits of recreation and parks, including National Health and Fitness Day (June 1) and Inuvialuit Day (June 5). In celebration of JRPM, the NWTRPA is excited to share this feature post by our very own Jennifer Rafferty in recognition of Intergenerational Day (June 1).
How does Intergenerational Day relate to Recreation and Parks Month? Recreation and Parks Month is all about getting outside into the fresh air and embracing the sunny days and long evenings that are bestowed upon us lucky northerners.
The Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse says that Intergenerational Day was born in 2010 as a reminder to “us all of the importance of respectful connecting between generations to help break through social isolation, build resiliency, community safety and greater understanding across age groups, all of which are also key to preventing elder abuse.” What better way to do this than through getting together and enjoying some activities outside? Another benefit of our long summer days is that getting around is easier for older adults and Elders who may normally struggle with ice and snow.
At the NWTRPA, we like to challenge everyone about what “recreation” means to them. In the past, people often related it to organized sport, spending time in a park, or going camping. It is important to us that people expand their definition of recreation to include on the land activities, traditional games and pastimes, walking, exploring trails, harvesting food, card nights, meal prep sessions, craft programs, and more. The more open we are to different recreation ideas, the easier it becomes to integrate people of all ages. The NWTRPA’s programs like Generations on the Move and Elders in Motion promote healthy, active aging that’s fun and engaging.
Some of the benefits to intergenerational activities are obvious, like bringing together people of all ages that may not normally get to spend time together. But it’s also an opportunity to share stories, teach language, celebrate culture, learn something new, be more active and bring a greater sense of responsibility to the people in our lives. By spending time with people of different ages, it helps us to see things in a different way and feel more compassion for people outside of our own age group.
We would love to see how you connect in your communities with people of all ages. Enter our photo contest to win a prize pack which includes a $50 Visa gift card. Deadline to enter is June 22nd!
For more information on the upcoming celebration dates in June, click here.