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PNS Daily Newscast - November 13, 2018. 


Californian’s now facing a pair of wildfires; Also on the Tuesday rundown: Higher education in New Jersey: a racial split; plus food resources still available despite the “public charge” proposal.

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Illinoisans Urged to Be Outdoors: It's "National Park and Rec Month"

PHOTO: July is National Park and Recreation Month, an initiative designed to encourage Illinoisans to spend more time in the Prairie State's great outdoors. Photo courtesy of Portland Metro.
PHOTO: July is National Park and Recreation Month, an initiative designed to encourage Illinoisans to spend more time in the Prairie State's great outdoors. Photo courtesy of Portland Metro.
July 8, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinoisans are being encouraged to venture beyond their homes and offices this month and head outdoors for "National Park and Recreation Month" in July.

Chris Young with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says there are more than 300 state parks, forests, and fish and wildlife areas for people to enjoy throughout the state. With activities like camping, hiking or canoeing available, Young says there is something for everyone in Illinois, and he encourages residents and visitors alike to explore the state's open spaces year round.

"In the wintertime you can go to Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County to watch the eagles that congregate at the lock and dam," says Young, "In the springtime you can hike the canyons in Jackson County and watch the waterfalls run. In the wintertime, those waterfalls often freeze and create beautiful frozen waterfall scenes."

A recent study shows about 30 percent of Americans don't spend any time outdoors on a daily basis. The same study found even those who manage to get outdoors are there for 30 minutes per day, or less.

Lauren Hoffman with the National Recreation and Park Association says the hope is promoting outdoor activity in July will help people develop and enjoy the benefits of a more active lifestyle throughout the year.

"Studies show time spent visiting outdoor parks and being in the outdoors can help improve your mental health and reduce stress," she says. "Parks and recreation really provide the opportunity to get outside and get physically active."

Hoffman says another challenge to getting both young people and adults outdoors is so many are glued to their smart phones and tablets. She encourages contacting your local parks and recreation department to learn more about the programs and services offered in your area.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL