As part of Parks and Recreation Month, the Rexburg on the Green event held July 2 near the Romance Theater on Main Street was directed and planned by BYU-Idaho’s horticulture program who partnered with a nonprofit organization called Come Alive Outside. Applied plant science professor Reese Nelson headed this event in order to help the community understand the importance of nature and being outdoors.

“We want to help people understand that nature helps relieve stress,” Nelson said. “It also has many biological and sociological benefits.”

Nelson, along with volunteers from the BYU-I horticulture program, laid about 10,000 square feet of sod onto Center Street next to Paramount 5.

“It is not just a party, but there is a reason we all need to get off our devices and get out into nature, and hopefully we can share this message through this event,” Nelson said in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.

The event allowed anyone to relax on the grass, hula-hoop, play cornhole, throw footballs, do Zumba, jump rope, dance and participate in a number of other activities. The event also featured a free performance from country singer Clinton King out of Jackson Hole.

There were many signs posted around the event that provided fun facts in regards to exercise, outdoors, hikes and nature in general. For example, one sign read, “Did you know two laps around Porter Park is a mile?” These small facts provided talking points and information for those there.

Many came to see why there was grass laid out on the street. With watermelon provided by the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce, grass, music and many activities, families were able to enjoy being outside even though they were in the middle of the street.

For more about the purpose of the event, listen to an interview with Reese Nelson on BYU-Idaho Radio.