Summer is here. The kids are home and already complaining that there’s nothing to do. Here’s an idea—go outside! June is National Get Outdoors Month and Johnson County has many ways to celebrate the occasion. Put down your phone, apply sunscreen, and get outside!
Get Outdoors on the Trails
Johnson County has many free and low-cost options for getting outdoors. From our excellent parks, such as Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park in Lenexa, KS to Switzer Park in Overland Park, KS, to our numerous walking and biking trails throughout the county, there are opportunities right around every corner.
Don’t have a bike? No worries! Johnson County Park and Recreation and the City of Lenexa have partnered with RideKC Bike program to offer pedal and electric-assisted bikes in locations throughout the county. The system allows users to scan a bike to check it out, ride it safely and then return it at any authorized hub location. To rent a bike, download the RideKC Bike app and follow the directions to scan and check out the bike. Bikes cost $1 to unlock and 10 cents per minute.
Get Outdoors on the Water
Have your kayaks and paddle boards been collecting dust over the winter? Time to dust them off and get them out at Shawnee Mission Park, Lake Olathe, or Lake Lenexa. If you don’t have a kayak, paddle board, or canoe you can rent one at the marinas at Shawnee Mission Park or Lake Olathe.
Get Outdoors and Enjoy Nature
Enjoy nature at Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center or Shawnee Mission Park. Enjoy the fantastical world of the Enchanted Forrest at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Take the self-guided tree tour at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Olathe, KS. There are opportunities for people of all-ages and interests in Johnson County!
Benefits of Being Outdoors
Outdoor activities benefit us all in many ways—physically, socially, mentally, and intellectually. Research shows that regular outdoor activity reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases. Along with an increase in physical activity, outdoor activities offer the chance to socialize, which can boost your feelings of well-being and decrease feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression. Social engagement along with being outdoors can also reduce your risk for dementia and positively influence brain health. Outdoor activities also leads to an increased confidence, improved creativity and better self-esteem.
No matter how you choose to celebrate Get Outdoors Month, have fun!