Written by: Chris Lucas, CPRP, Sports Coordinator II, City of LIberty, MO
Have you heard that October 4, 2013 is National Visit a Park Day? This is something that NRPA and the Young Professionals Network (YPN) have celebrated over the last couple of years to help promote the wonders of our natural and treasured resources out there – local parks. In past Visit a Park Days, local and state recreation and parks programs, non-profits, and related civic groups have united nationwide to support this initiative.
Park and recreation agencies can leverage Visit a Park Day as way to engage the community in their local parks and foster future enjoyment, visitation and advocacy support. Not only that, the beauty behind this initiative is that it provides the opportunity for parks and recreation professionals, along with community advocates to educate the public on the benefits of parks and open space in an unlimited capacity.
Visit a Park Day is pretty easy to celebrate too! Visit a Park Day has included events such as nature hikes, grand openings for new trail segments, athletic field days and fitness in the parks. Here are some other ways you can celebrate:
- Work in partnership with a local teacher, school or preschool and host a tour of one of your parks
- Hold an open Zumba class or other popular fitness program and encourage your community to come out
- Invite local college students or high school seniors to shadow your staff for the day to learn more about careers in parks and recreation
- Or simply support the initiative on social media and encourage your community to “visit” with you in any capacity on October 4; have them submit photos on social media of themselves out in your parks and facilities. Use the hashtag #VisitaParkDay.
The NRPA Young Professionals encourage park and recreation agencies, community leaders, civic groups, schools and other organizations to come together and participate in Visit a Park Day.
It is an opportunity to create a special experience that will draw attention to on-going park efforts, increase visitation and educate the public to the life enhancing benefits of parks and open space.
Let the NRPA Young Professionals Network know if you’ll participate in Visit a Park Day! To learn more about Visit A Park Day, contact YPN members Chris Lucas or Jennifer Upah.
What are some reasons you think it is important to have a Visit a Park Day? What are some ways or ideas you have to celebrate Visit a Park Day? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter (@NRPA_News, @YoungProf_NRPA), #VisitaParkDay. You can also join the discussion by logging in and connecting with Young Professionals on NRPA Connect.