The Friends of Johnston County Parks group is hosting their second annual #OptOutsideJoCo event Thanksgiving weekend. This event is to encourage people to spend time with family and friends outside during Thanksgiving weekend in Johnston County, North Carolina, and to share their experiences and photos on Facebook and social media using the hashtag #OptOutsideJoCo.
While the primary goal of the event is to encourage people to spend time outside, a secondary goal is to raise awareness for Johnston County Parks and Open Space’s new website, www.jocoparks.org. Use this brand new website to find a local greenway, park, or trail to spend time outside.
The #OptOutsideJoCo event is a part of REI’s #OptOutside movement, which started in 2015. The event begins Thanksgiving Day and runs through Cyber Monday — Thursday, November 25 through Monday, November 29, 2021. The group is encouraging participants to walk, run, or ride their local greenway, play on their local playground, or visit their local park in Johnston County. The group also reminds those participating in the event to recreate responsibly, including following guidelines from the CDC.
The Friends of Johnston County Parks was launched in October 2020 and just established its first Board of Directors. The Friends of Johnston County Parks is a volunteer coalition advocating in support of parks, open space, the arts, and recreational opportunities on behalf of all Johnston County citizens and visitors. The core group’s interests range from athletics to arts to gardening to playgrounds to outdoor recreation and everything in between. Their Board of Directors include parks and rec students, business owners, community leaders, youth sports coaches, and parks and recreation professionals. The group’s four strategic priorities are advocacy, education, recreation, and stewardship.
Said Dave Herpy, board member of Friends of Johnston County Parks: “Parks, open space, and greenways have proven essential during the COVID-19 pandemic for exercise, relaxation, and stress relief. We want everyone in Johnston County to know why parks are essential and to understand the value of parks and recreation as it relates to quality of life.”
Said Austin Cross, board member of Friends of Johnston County Parks and Park Planner for Johnston County Parks and Open Space: “Johnston County is dedicated to providing public spaces for healthy experiences and recreation activities. One way we are encouraging these actions is through our new website, which is full of parks and recreation sites where enthusiasts can enjoy the great outdoors. This website keeps users up to date on all park & recreation events throughout the county through our calendar feature. Check out the website and see for yourself!”
Visit the event page on Facebook for updates.
Source: Ashby Brame, Johnston County NC