Want to live longer? Get to a Park!

Americans are always looking for the next best health tip in hopes of living a longer and healthier life.  According to one study, the answer could be as simple as living close to your local park!

CNN recently published an article that focuses on the impact that greenery and parks have on life expectancy… park1

“The trees, shrubs and plants outside your home might offer something more than just pretty scenery. A new study found that living in, or near, green areas can help women live longer and improve their mental health.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital examined more than 108,000 women enrolled in the Nurse’s Health Study — a nationwide investigation into risk factors for major chronic diseases in women — from 2000 to 2008.

They compared risk of death with the amount of plant life and vegetation near the women’s homes and found that women living in the greenest areas had a 12% lower death rate than women living in the least green areas. The levels of vegetation were determined using satellite imagery from different seasons and years.  The team believes the findings would be similar if men were included in the study.

When analyzing specific causes of death among the study participants, researchers found that women in greener areas had a 41% lower death rate for kidney disease, a 34% lower death rate for respiratory disease and a 13% lower death rate for cancer than those living in areas with less greenery.

The study suggests that several factors might play a role in reducing the death rate, including improved mental health, which was measured through levels of depression and estimated to explain 30% of the benefit from living in greener areas. Increased opportunities for social engagement, increased physical activity and lower exposure to air pollution may also play important roles, according to the study.”

Park Pictures 161So when you are out Christmas shopping this year, show the ones you love that you really care by passing on the perfume, and choosing a gift that will help encourage them to get out and enjoy what nature has to offer.

The above excerpt is from “Living near nature linked to longer lives, says study”, an article by Morgan Manella and CNN.  Click Here to read the full article.
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Scare Away those Extra Halloween Calories!

candyEvery kid looks forward to Halloween.  What other time do you get to become your favorite character, and get lots of free candy?  Unfortunately, all that candy floating around leads to lots and lots of excess calories for kids AND parents.  The American Heart Association is stepping in to help you scare away those extra Halloween calories.

For the Trick-or-Treater

  • Fill up first. What kid doesn’t want to eat their favorite candy right when it goes into their trick-or-treat bag? Having a healthy meal BEFORE your kids go trick-or-treating can reduce their temptation to snack while walking or to overindulge, because their tummies will be full.
  • Bag the monster bag. Choose or make a smaller collection container for your child and steer clear of the pillow case method. If you encourage kids to only take one piece of candy from each house, they’ll be able to visit more houses in the neighborhood.
  • Get moving. Get some exercise by making Halloween a fun family activity. Walk instead of driving kids house to house. Set a goal of how many houses or streets you’ll visit, or compete in teams to do as many as you can. Bring a bottle of water and a flashlight, and wear comfortable shoes for walking!
  • Look before you eat. Check expiration dates and inspect all edibles before allowing children to eat them. Don’t let children eat anything with questionable or unknown ingredients, especially if they have food allergies.
  • Have a plan. Halloween, and Eat Smart Month in November, can be a great time to talk with kids about moderation and making smart eating choices. Plan in advance how much candy they’ll be allowed to take at each house, keep, and eat. If they’re old enough, let them help decide what to do with excess candy.


What to Do with Excess Candy

Afraid you’ll be dealing with an excess of Halloween treats until long after Valentine’s Day? Here are some ideas for enjoying the evening’s haul responsibly and getting rid of leftover candy:

  • Let each child keep enough candy to have one or two pieces a day for one or two weeks (long enough for the excitement to wane). Throw away, donate or re-purpose the rest.
  • When your child asks for a piece of candy, pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some nuts, or celery with peanut butter.
  • “Buy back” candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at the park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
  • Some dentists’ offices have buy-back or trade-in programs, too.
  • Save it for holiday baking.
  • Save it to fill the piñata at the next birthday celebration or give out with Valentine cards.
  • Use it in an arts and crafts project or to decorate a holiday gingerbread house.
  • Donate excess candy to a homeless shelter, children’s hospital, or care package program for troops overseas. A familiar sweet treat from home can be comforting at the holidays.

The American Heart Association also has tips for those staying home to hand out candy, and for Halloween party planners.  To view the full article, CLICK HERE.

The above content is an excerpt from a ‘Eat Smart Article’ by the American Heart Association.  Visit https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/ for more stories on how to live a healthier life.
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Clarksville Parks Asking for Community’s Help in Supporting Local Kids

Ask just about any Clarksville kid, and they can probably tell you about the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department. Over the last few years, the department has been making a big push to become more involved at area schools, and to get more local children involved in park programs.5k3

Every month our staff are visiting area schools with our music van, wiggle, cars, and other fun activities. We are always there when school administrators ask us to take part in their events.

“Clarksville Parks & Recreation is a vital partner and supporter of Clarksville Community Schools. Their commitment and support of our students is second to none,” said CCSC Information Specialist Nikolette Langdon. “They not only provide countless events and activities for the Clarksville Community, but they also support our students grades PK-12 through attending and assisting CCSC with events, celebrations and educational opportunities.”

Now the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department is calling on area residents to join us in giving back to the children in our community.

ClarkFEST is Clarksville’s largest annual community festival, held every year in October at Clarksville’s Gateway Park, and Clarksville Parks plays a big role in helping to organize the event. The FREE festival features a parade, car show, live music, inflatables, games, food trucks, and much more.

This year, the ClarkFEST planning committee decided to add a “Run for the Kids” 5K Run/Walk. The race will be held on Saturday, October 21st at 8:00am, with the start and finish at Gateway Park. The ClarkFEST festival will kick off at 10:00am, after the race. All the money raised from the “Run for the Kids” will be split and donated to the Crusade for Children, and Clarksville’s Shop with a Cop program.

“Race organizer Tom Clevidence has already raised thousands of dollars for charity, but now we need runners,” said ClarkFEST planning committee member Ken Conklin. “The costs to put on the race have already been covered, so 100% of any registration fees will be going to charity.”

Run for the Kids Graphic1.jpg

The race is open to all ages, including children, with prizes awarded to the top finishers in the various age categories. The ClarkFEST Planning Committee’s goal is to make the “Run for the Kids” a family event, so parents who register for the race are being encouraged to bring their children with them. Young children do not need to register or pay a fee if they would like to walk or run with their parents, however, if a child would like to compete for a prize and get a t-shirt, they will need to register.

The registration fee for the race is $25 if you register on or before October 6th, and $30 per runner after October 6th.  T-shirts are guaranteed to anyone whom signs up by October 6th. After that, t-shirts will be given to registrants as supplies last.  Registrations will be accepted until the day of the race.

For more information about the race or to register online, CLICK HERE.

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Outdoor Pickleball Comes to Clarksville

It was just over a year ago that the Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department learned that changes needed to be made at Clarksville’s Ray Lawrence Park. Due to a stormwater project, a portion of the park would have to undergo construction. That meant the removal of the park’s shelter house, as well as changes to the surrounding land.IMG_7262[1]

Fortunately, the construction had a silver lining! As part of the project, Ray Lawrence Park was going to get improvements such as a new shelter house, basketball court, and tennis court. However, the most exciting addition was three new outdoor pickleball courts.

Pickleball is one of the hottest new sports sweeping the nation. A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. it can be played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net, with a paddle and a plastic ball. Pickleball can be played as doubles or singles.

IMG_7264[1]All the courts in Ray Lawrence Park are free to use and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Ray Lawrence Park is located at 1100 Irving Drive in Clarksville. We are currently working on scheduling a clinic for those interested in learning to play pickleball, and we will post that information on our website as soon as we get it confirmed. Feel free to call the Clarksville Parks offices at 812-283-5313 with any questions.

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TONIGHT: Star Wars’ “Rogue One: Invades Gateway Park

Families from across Kentuckiana are expected to pack Gateway Park in Clarksville tonight for the start of the 2017 Movies in the Park series. Tonight we will be showing “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” on our giant inflatable screen beginning at dusk. Unfortunately, our first scheduled movie was rained out in May, so many area families are excited for the start of the series.

Here is a look at our 2017 Summer Movie Series Schedule:


All movies will be held at Gateway Park, located at 500 Little League Boulevard in Clarksville. All movies are FREE and begin at dusk. Lawn chairs and coolers are welcome, but no alcohol, smoking or pets allowed.  Concessions will also be for sale.  We’ll see you at the movies!

Movie in the Park Web Page: http://www.clarksvilleparks.com/movies-in-the-park.html

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Planning for the Future: Clarksville Parks & Recreation

IMG_0895The Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department is looking toward the future, and asking for Clarksville residents to help us shape that future.  Work has begun on a new 5-year master plan for the Clarksville Parks District, and several special meetings have been scheduled to gather input from the public. 

It is important to include residents in the planning process so we better understand how our park system meets current and future needs.  These special public meetings will help us analyze public recreation needs and preferences, determine what recreation facilities and programs are publicly desired and appropriate, and prioritize and plan for new and renovated facilities and programs.

The first meeting will be held at 9:30am this Saturday, May 13th, at the Jeffersonville Township Public Library’s Clarksville Branch on Eastern Boulevard.

Saturday, May 13, 2017 – 9:30am

Jeffersonville Township Public Library – Clarksville Branch

1312 Eastern Boulevard, Clarksville, IN


Monday, May 15, 2017 – 6:30pm

Ohio Falls Methodist Church

917 S Virginia Avenue, Clarksville, IN


Thursday, May 18 – 6:30pm

Clark County REMC

7810 S.R. 60, Sellersburg, IN

Residents who are unable to make a public meeting may still submit their suggestions by filling out our online Master Plan Survey. This short survey will only take about 5 minutes, but the answers could have a major impact on the future of the Clarksville Parks district. To fill out the survey, Clarksville residents should CLICK HERE.

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Floyd Central Grad Selected for Clarksville Parks Internship


2017 Intern Megan Streigel (Clemson University)

Southern Indiana residents may notice a familiar face the next time they attend an event hosted by the Clarksville Parks.  Megan Striegel of Floyds Knobs, Indiana has been selected as the 2017 Summer Intern for the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department.

Megan graduated from Floyd Central High School, and was a member of the Floyd Central Golf Team for 4 years.  She is currently attending Clemson University and pursuing a degree in Graphic Communications.  Megan is already performing well in her first year, earning a spot in Alpha Lambda Delta, a certified national honor society that recognizes academic excellence in the first year of college.

The Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department first began offering an internship program back in 2014.  Each year, the department selects one student from applicants from across the country, to work with the department during the summer months.  Since Clarksville Parks is a small department, our interns get in-depth training in event management, recreational program development, golf and aquatics operations, budgeting, marketing, and communications.  Unlike many internships, this position is paid, making it very competitive.


2016 Intern Kelly Renee (Northern Kentucky University)

Megan will begin her duties with Clarksville Parks beginning May 15 and run through early August.  Since Megan is pursuing a degree in Graphic Communications, she will be working closely with Communication Director Ken Conklin on marketing, graphic design, website development, ad design, media communications, and public relations.  Megan will also spend time learning about operations within the Parks Department, Wooded View Golf Course, and the new Clarksville Cove Family Aquatic Center.

Dylan Ballard

2015 Intern Dylan Ballard (University of Louisville)

The Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department is proud to welcome Megan Striegel to the team, and looks forward to her great work for our community.  Anyone interested in learning more about the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Internship program can visit our website at ClarksvilleParks.com.

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CLARKSVILLE COVE: Special preview night for Clarksville residents

ClarksvilleCoveThe NEW Clarksville Cove Family Aquatic Center is nearly complete, with the grand opening set for Saturday, May 27th!

Some lucky Clarksville residents will get to enjoy the new facility before it opens to the public.  Clarksville Cove will be hosting a special “Preview Night” on Friday, May 26th from 4:00-7:00pm for Clarksville residents only.  The first 300 residents to show their Clarksville, Indiana ID will be allowed to swim for FREE.  Only 300 people will be allowed to attend this event, so once we hit that number, the pool will be closed to any other visitors.

To learn more about Clarksville Cove, visit our website at ClarksvilleCove.com.

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DOCTORS: Hiking outdoors can help Children suffering from ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is becoming more and more common among children. Children who have ADHD have a difficult time with impulse control and staying focused, they get distracted easily, and exhibit excessive hyperactivity.hike

While raising children who have ADHD can be difficult for parents, the usual solution — opting for prescription medication — may be doing more harm than good, particularly when natural solutions can work just as well. A study conducted by Frances E Kup, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD, found that exposing children with ADHD to “green outdoor activities” reduces symptoms significantly. The results of this study suggest nature exposure can benefit anyone who has a difficult time paying attention and/or exhibits impulsive behavior.


Clarksville Parks offers FREE Guided Nature Hikes.  The next hike is scheduled for Saturday, April 29th in Lapping Park, located at 2404 Greentree North in Clarksville.  We will meet at Endris Lodge.

Hiking can also help adults with ending negative and obsessive thoughts.  Aside from the almost instant feeling of calm and contentment that accompanies time outdoors, hiking in nature can reduce rumination. Many of us often find ourselves consumed by negative thoughts, which takes us out of the enjoyment of the moment at best and leads us down a path to depression and anxiety at worst. But a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive, negative thoughts by a significant margin.

To conduct this study, researchers compared the reported rumination of participants who hiked through either an urban or a natural environment. They found those who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and they also had reduced neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain related to mental illness. Those who walked through the urban environment, however, did not report decreased rumination.

The researchers noted that increased urbanization closely correlates with increased instances of depression and other mental illness. Taking the time to regularly remove ourselves from urban settings and spend more time in nature can greatly benefit our psychological (and physical) well-being.

This excerpt is from an article written by Alanna Ketler and posted on the website Collective-Evolution.com.  It was promoted by the National Recreation and Parks Association.  Please CLICK HERE to read the full article.



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Town of Clarksville Named One of the “Best Cities for Outdoor Lovers”

Spring is in full swing, and many area residents are starting to get outside and enjoy our sunshine and warmer temperatures.  Our parks and trails are already becoming busy with activity as residents look to get outside to exercise, relax, and enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Park Pictures 161

Ashland Park, Clarksville

With the start of the spring season also comes a new designation for the Town of Clarksville.  A new report from the website Millennial Personal Finance (MPF), ranks Clarksville as one of the “Best Cities for Outdoor Lovers”.  Using licensed data, MPF found the exact number of parks, campsites, and outdoor reservations for over 5,000 U.S. towns and cities. That number was divided by the respective city’s population to develop the Outdoor Lover Index.  The website says the index is indicative of the number of outdoor places per person in a given place.


Clarksville Little League Complex

The Town of Clarksville ranked #233 out of 5,000 cities and towns used in the report, and ranked #6 in the state of Indiana.  Only eleven cities and towns in the Hoosier state made the top 500, including nearby Corydon, IN which ranked #128 on the list.  Clarksville and Corydon are the only two locations in in the Louisville/Southern Indiana area to make the Top 500 list.

The Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department is proud to receive this designation, and will continue to work to provide the best outdoor recreational areas for our residents and visitors.  The department has several projects in the works including the brand new Clarksville Cove Aquatic Center (opening May 27th), a total redevelopment of Ashland Park along the Ohio River, and the Lewis and Clark Trail which will connect the Clarksville and New Albany portions of the Ohio River Greenway.


Read the full report from Millennial Personal Finance (MPF)


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