July is Park and Recreation Month, an official observance declared by Congress in 2009. The Ashburn, Va.-based National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) wants everyone to get out to parks and recreation areas to celebrate on the theme of “GET WILD.”

“Park and recreation agencies promote health and wellness and significantly contribute to the greater good of a community,” says Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of NRPA. “The obesity epidemic rages on, physical activity levels remain low and more than ever kids are staying indoors and behind electronic media. Park and Recreation Month is a great time to take a stand against these trends by going to your park, getting active and of course, getting wild.”

NRPA is offering several activities to help in the celebration. The GET WILD Geocache Contest is an outdoor treasure hunting game. Players locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices or mobile phones, and then share their experiences online. Prizes include 5 GPS devices.

The group encourages people to send in photos or videos with the official GET WILD poster showing how wild they are about parks and recreation. Participants can also sign the GET WILD pledge, promising to visit a park, recreation area/facility, hiking or biking trail, playground, swimming pool or natural area.

NRPA promotes healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives and conservation of natural and cultural resources. Information on the group’s GET WILD initiatives is available on the NRPA website.