If you’ve never participated in Park and Recreation Month before, the amount of materials available in our toolkit can seem overwhelming. Based on feedback from previous Julys, we’ve heard that some people didn't know where to get started.
To help you out, we’ve put together this quick start guide so you can easily celebrate the important role of parks and recreation this July.
1. Hang the Park and Recreation Month Poster
The easiest thing you can do to celebrate Park and Recreation Month is to hang the official Park and Recreation Month poster somewhere visible to others. You can download and print copies from the website, or you can hang the printed version that comes with the May issue of Parks & Recreation magazine.
2. Show Your Support on Social Media
Another great way to show your support is by sharing information about Park and Recreation Month on social media. The first thing you can do is use the hashtag #PlayOnJuly on all your social media posts about Park and Recreation Month. You can also update your avatars to be the Park and Rec Month logo or use the Facebook and Twitter header images supplied in the toolkit. In the Outreach Toolkit, we provide sample social media posts that you can easily customize and share with your community.
3. Proclaim July as Park and Recreation Month
Many municipalities will issue formal proclamations to acknowledge special days and events. Park and Recreation is no different. You can ask your town, city or community council to proclaim July as Park and Recreation Month. On the website, we have tips for getting July proclaimed as Park and Recreation Month as well as a template proclamation you can personalize and use.
4. List your July events as Park and Recreation Month Events
You can now add your July events on the official Park and Recreation Month event calendar and map. You don’t need to plan a special event to include it on the map. Many people list their 4th of July celebrations, summer camp activities, concerts and more. NRPA promotes this map and calendar to the general public as a way for people to discover the activities happening through your park and recreation department. You can use the other materials in the toolkit to add Park and Recreation Month flair to your already planned events as well.
5. Submit a Press Release about Park and Recreation Month
Use the template press release provided in our Outreach Toolkit to explain what Park and Recreation Month is and the ways in which your agency will be celebrating. This is a great opportunity to gain media attention for your parks, facilities and programs as well as include yourself as part of the broader media push around Park and Recreation Month. We always include tips for sharing your press release with reporters.
In addition to these five tips, there are many other ways you can participate in Park and Recreation Month. We’ll be releasing information about our annual contest in the coming months and we've also just released a Park and Recreation Month Activity Book (available in the toolkit) that can be printed and used with any of your camps or events involving youth.
Our main goal behind Park and Recreation Month is to promote the great work you are doing and to let the general public know that July is the perfect time to get out and discover the great things happening at their local parks and recreation. This July we are celebrating the importance of play and we can’t wait to celebrate with you! As always, if you have any questions about the materials or how to participate, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to celebrate with you this July!
Roxanne Sutton is NRPA’s Communication Manager.