Oct. 6, 2018 — Siuslaw Vision 2025, a community-focused, regional effort to improve quality of life for local residents, is coordinating an all ages Play Day on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The purpose of the event is to provide adults and youth the opportunity to participate in a number of free activities for the simple purpose of having fun.
There is a growing appreciation among scientists and researchers that “playing around” can have a much greater positive impact on overall wellness than previously thought. Research has shown that laughter created when people play with family and friends, and pets, can relieve stress by releasing endorphins in the brain that activate the body’s opiate receptors, causing a pleasant analgesic effect in the body. Playing with others helps people feel good and improves their physical and mental wellbeing.
Playing has also proven to improve communication among family members and life partners, in addition to fostering empathy, cooperation, compassion and trust.
Siuslaw Vision Coordinator Stephanie Sarles feels that giving adults and children a chance to participate in activities designed to relax and entertain is also a great way to spend some free time in one of the city’s parks.
“This is the first of our Siuslaw Play Days featuring recreational activities in our region,” she said. “We want to showcase what’s available in the area and bring our community together to share ideas about what they’d like to see happen with parks and rec in the future.”
Additionally, Sarles hopes that community members who participate in activities during Play Day will think of other ways to utilize the parks in the area in the future.
“We want ideas from everyone, from kids to senior adults. We’ve sent home flyers with Siuslaw students to encourage them to draw or write a story about their ideal parks and rec facilities and activities. We’ll have a drawing of the entries, award some prizes and share some of them on our Facebook page and website. The flyer is also available at RiverCal.org/play for those who didn’t get one at school,” she said.
Outdoor events taking place during Play Day include four pickleball clinics at Rolling Dunes Park, located on 35th Street, given by John Griffin, U.S. Pickleball Association ambassador.
Siuslaw Youth Soccer Association will be holding multiple soccer games from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Miller Park, 1651 18th St. From noon to 2 p.m. there will be a Jenga building event at the park.
There will also be an indoor activity on Play Day, with Mary McNutt leading “Yoga for Vitality” classes at Florence Senior Center, 1570 Kingwood St.
Sarles is hopeful that the first Siuslaw vision Play Day will be a chance for community members to take a few hours, get outside and have a good time.
“Pack your own picnic and meet a new friend or bring some sports equipment and challenge your neighbors to a friendly pick-up soccer or basketball game,” she said. “We’re also looking for community members who have a passion for parks and rec and want to help bring more opportunities to the area. We’d love to add some new voices and faces to our initiative teams. There’s a lot we can do if we all work together.”
Siuslaw Play Day events will wrap up with Vision volunteers handing out free gingerbread cookies to attendees from noon to 2 p.m. at Miller Park.
A short survey will be available, in digital and paper form, to gather input from participants about what programs and facilities are desired for parks and recreation services in the region.
For more information about Play Day, contact [email protected] or 541-590-2425 or visit RiverCal.org.