On Saturday, June 8, in honor of National Get Outdoors Day, Get Outdoors Colorado transformed the southeast corner of City Park in Denver into an experiential and educational mecca of all things to do with enjoying the outdoors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that over one third of youth and adolescents are overweight or obese. Obesity in children and adolescents carries with it heightened risk factors for cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, bone and joint health problems, and social and psychological problems. Representatives and volunteers from dozens of organizations such as LiveWell Colorado, the Outdoor Recreation Information Center, Bike Depot, the National Park Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Denver Water, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Denver Botanic Gardens, and so many more were out to encourage people of all ages to live more active lifestyles in Colorado’s great outdoors, as well as to educate people on how to do so sustainably and with respect for our natural resources and wildlife.
There was a main stage that served as a central hub for the ceremonies and entertainment for the day, and then the event was sectioned into four categories. The REI Outdoor Adventure Village hosted a variety of activities including a climbing wall, kayaking, biking, and fishing. The Experiential Arts Village encouraged participants to draw, garden, make music, and explore urban farming. At the United Healthcare BodyWalk Village, experts were on hand to answer questions about healthy and active lifestyle choices and to encourage different fun ways to get your body moving, from jumping rope to push-ups to hula hooping and more. And the Adaptive Recreation Village provided people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to learn about hand-pedal biking, adaptive fishing, climbing, and paddling. There was truly something for every person and skill level to show just how fun and beneficial it can be to get off the couch and outside to play!
But the biggest takeaway from the event was that the lessons and activities of the day shouldn’t be an experience isolated to the scope of the one-day festival; rather, every day should include some amount of outdoor play and active fun! If you’re struggling to come up with different ways to spend time outdoors, check out Get Outdoors Colorado’s Events page. Just be sure to minimize your screen time and go try out the suggestions you find.