FARMINGTON — Cities across the country are planning events and contests this month to celebrate their local parks and recreation departments.

For the past 25 years, the United States has recognized July as National Park and Recreation Month and the city of Farmington is holding a social media contest to engage park enthusiasts.

The theme for this year's National Park and Recreation Month is "Celebrate, Advocate, Recreate!" and the social media project, "This is how we recreate!" is aiming to get people out using their local parks.

The Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department is encouraging patrons to print out a sign available on the website, www.fmtn.org/prca, department spokesman Ken Collins said.

"We want any and all people to print out and take pictures of their families, friends and of themselves while holding the sign," he said. "We then want people to post them to our Facebook page.

At the end of the month, Collins will go through the photo entries and select one winner who will receive park passes that total $40 in value.

"We are putting together a list of all of our park passes and the winner will be able to look through all of them and choose whatever interests them," he said. "We have day passes for the aquatic center, outdoor movie passes for September at Brookside Park, and a top-valued-pass for 18 holes at PiƱon Hills Golf Course.


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If the pass the winner chooses is worth less than $40 they will be able to select multiple passes up to $40 in value."

Collins said the goal of the contest is to help gain awareness for parks, noting the awareness campaign launched by the National Recreation and Park Association.

"Parks and recreation are critically important to the economic and environmental well-being of communities, and the physical and mental health of individuals," CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association Barbara Tulipane said in a prepared statement. "As the field faces the most difficult times in decades, it's important for Americans to use their collective voices and energy this July to fight for well-supported and robust park and recreation systems."

Collins said the local campaign may help save Farmington's parks for future generations.

"We have a pretty extensive park system in Farmington but that doesn't mean it will always be there," he said. "People may visit the parks every now and then but they don't really realize what goes into it. If they can just snap some photos of themselves with the sign at a park it helps create a public support forum."

Submissions for the contest will be accepted until July 31 and Collins will pick a winner during the week of the Connie Mack World Series.

All photos must remain "Rated G," and may not depict anything illegal or unsafe.