In honor of National Park and Recreation Month, and upcoming Pennsylvania Park and Recreation Professionals Day, we’re focusing on ways the entire community can support and promote the enjoyment of parks in Pennsylvania and beyond.
It’s no surprise that people in the community love their parks! In fact, 83% of Americans note that they personally benefit from the use of parks in the community. But there are ways to get involved beyond just frequently using your local park. A majority of people understand that parks contribute to conservation efforts, health and wellness, and even social equality but are often at a loss for how they can help to support parks. Here are a few ways that anybody can be a supporter of local parks in your community.
Volunteering with your local parks and recreation department offers additional resources that they may be lacking. One of the biggest challenges in many parks and rec departments is a lack of staffing to accomplish everything they want to do. Volunteering with your local parks can help with conservation efforts and projects, which is one of the pillars of parks. From clearing trails to helping with environmental education to doing research, there are a variety of ways you can use your talents to assist with the preservation and promotion of parks in your area.
Something simple that everyone can do is to promote the use of parks in their community. Whether you frequent your local park on a daily basis or just love to take advantage of it every once in a while, let the people in your community know! Word of mouth is powerful for anything and that includes local parks. Host gatherings in your local park and invite neighbors and friends. Meet up with a friend for a walk or hike. Take pictures and share them on social media making sure to use any known hashtags and tagging official accounts. The ways in which you can promote your local park are nearly endless and easy!
Be a Voice
Perhaps one of the most impactful things you can do to support your local parks is to be a voice in community leadership. While most people agree that local parks are crucial to their communities, this is one of the areas that’s often first to lose funding in a budget deficit situation. When community members take it upon themselves to get involved with local leadership, the importance of parks funding can be championed. Talk to local leaders about why parks are essential to your community. Show up to community meetings and speak your support for parks and recreation departments and local parks.
Local parks are an integral part of local communities and community members are crucial in the promotion and preservation of them throughout the state and the country. If you’d like to learn more about how to get involved, contact us!