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Make 2024 a Year of Parks! 

January is a time of resolutions for many people, as we look to find ways to be happier, healthier, and more engaged in our community. While everyone’s goals are different, exploring public parks is a great way to fulfill many of our resolutions. Consider these benefits: 

Physical Health: Being in nature is proven to improve health. Being active in parks has an even greater health impact. And exploring nature with other people amplifies these benefits even more. Blood pressure goes down just looking at natural settings. Each park is different, and nature infuses them all, but with 40% of our parks in forest, the chance to “forest bathe” offers even more opportunities to find peace in the city.  

Mental Health: Are you feeling overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities, burdened by social issues, stressed by finances? Visiting parks and green spaces actually reduces the stressors that lead to many mental health impacts and challenges. Taking just a few minutes each day to be in nature can improve your mental health and emotional regulation, and at no cost to you! 

Connection: The great thing about public parks is that they are public, and open to all. Visiting parks can enhance a sense of community while also offering a chance to find solace. Being in a park can actually reduce loneliness, increase social cohesion, and increase civic engagement. 

If you live in Seattle, there is a 99% chance that you have a park within walking distance of your home. And transit access to parks in Seattle is near ubiquitous. From regional parks like Discovery Park, Seward Park and Lincoln Park to neighborhood parks and our many natural areas, there are nearly 500 options for Seattleites to explore and gain the benefits of nature in the city.  

So, make a resolution this year to get out in your local parks. And share your experiences with us! 

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