July is National Park and Recreation month and the City of New Haven Department of Parks and Recreation and Trees has launched the Out Is In campaign to encourage citizens to use some of the many parks New Haven has to offer, including East Rock park, Edgerton Park, Ella B. Scantleburyplayground (also known as Ashmun Street Park), West Rock Ridge State Park, to name a few. The National Park and Recreation Association states that when we go outdoors we get active, connect with nature and even improve our mental health and stress levels. Community parks and recreation are great places to get outdoor time and time spent outdoors is good for us.
Yale also has a little known outdoor resource available, the Outdoor Education Center in Old Lyme, only 40 miles north of New Haven. With 1,500 wooded acres and a sparkling lake, there is hiking, swimming, kayaking and canoeing available. Just bring your Yale ID and pay the minimal day-use fees. Kayaks and canoes can be rented for the day. Cabins or tent spaces for camping are also available with a full membership. OEC is open the third weekend in June through Labor Day. Sorry, no pets are allowed. For more information, call 203-432-2492.