Park Swings begging for children

The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure.
Laurence J. Peter

Our Heritage of leisure, recreation and play has roots deep in our government infrastructure. Not just here in the US, but in most countries world-wide. This is not a post about a political statement (Heaven forbid!), but rather a reminder of the debt we owe visionaries who set aside public lands and leisure spaces for all of us to enjoy.

Although the first sandlot opened in Boston in 1886, the playground movement didn’t begin to develop until the mid-1890s, when playgrounds were opened in nine major US cities. The playground movement in America began as an answer to the industrial revolution realities of crowded cities and long work days. This idea sought to save poor, immigrant, and homeless children from unhealthy crowded tenement neighborhoods. The reformers believed that “supervised play could improve the mental, moral, and physical well-being of children.” Bachrach, J. “Playground Movement.” Encyclopedia of Chicago.

Think about how you engage in leisure on a daily basis…

Sign for River Bend Park County of SacramentoDo you ride your bicycle on a dedicated trail?

When was the last time you took your kids or grandkids to the local neighborhood park and played on the equipment and swings?

Did you enjoy your backpacking trip on the John Muir trail in Yosemite National Park?

How about that cool dip in the YMCA swimming pool?

I could go on all day. The point is our leisure heritage is alive and well.

Next time you visit a national park, a public playground or any other leisure space, say a quick-thank you to these visionaries: Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, Jane Addams, or Steven T. Mather, among many.

I know school is out for the semester but the leisure educator in me can’t stop extolling the virtues of living a healthy leisure lifestyle!

"The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure"

Remember, May is National Water Safety Month!

May is National Water Safety Month



Have a leisurely weekend!


32 thoughts on “Our Leisure Heritage

  1. I totally agree with you, Terri. And I’m doing my best to do my part. I am also incredibly thankful for those who have fought for our parks, trails, heritage sites and playgrounds. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You always make me think, Terri. And now I’m thinking about being more intentional with my precious leisure time. I need to work on this side of my life as a full time job and blogging occupy so much of my days. It’s summertime (almost) and I need to do some leisure planning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Molly! Outdoor leisure time is just part of the picture. Blogging is what they call “serious leisure,” we don’t get paid, it’s our choice, etc…the very definition of leisure…not to give you any excuses or anything 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Leisure time is so important Terri. I’ve taken to making time for walking. Sometimes in our local country park. It’s lovely to do so, you see things you wouldn’t do otherwise – like the swans on the lake, the fishermen out trying to get a catch… Even a walk down the road in your neighbourhood can be full of interest. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Terri! I love that quote! I’d never heard it before but it certainly highlights what each person considers to be most important in their life and I consider that SMART. And appreciating the vision of those that helped to preserve the natural beauty of our world is so very important. Thanks! ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing this Terri. We are blessed with parks and recreational facilities all around us. A great reminder that it all did start with those visionaries. So much to be thankful for to get out and enjoy those parks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

What is YOUR perspective?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.