We often get asked, “How can I participate in Park and Recreation Month?” While we have loads of suggestions, the best advice comes from other agencies that have done it year after year. The Deering Estate has been an active Park and Recreation Month participant for the last few years and they’ve put together this great guest blog post with tips on how to celebrate!
The Deering Estate has participated in this engaging program of the National Recreation and Park Association since 2013, and we look forward to participating every year.
It’s easy and it’s fun! Park and recreation agencies can simply relate the theme for Park & Recreation Month to a program or event that they offer. It’s a great exercise for team building with staff and also a great way to get the community engaged.
Here’s a quick “how-to” followed by specific examples of how we’ve celebrated the last few years.
Plan & Promote
- Review the theme and decide on how you will participate
- Submit listing(s) on the events calendar on the NRPA Park and Recreation Month page
- Review and utilize the toolkit provided by the NRPA (includes fact sheet, key messages, templates for media advisory and press release, and logos/posters)
- Schedule social media posts leading up to the event; use designated hashtag (#SuperJuly?)
- Get staff and the community on board so they feel excited and engaged.
Provide post-event coverage
- Follow up and provide info on the outcome of the event to the NRPA
- Provide photos and post successes from the event on social media; continue to use designated hash tag (#SuperJuly?)
Here’s how the Deering Estate has celebrated the last few years:
2013 – Theme: “Tell us why you LOVE your Park & Recreation”
The Deering Estate participated in a weekly photo contest for Park and Recreation Month in 2013. We submitted photos of our community getting healthy by taking a Pilates Class offered at the Deering Estate. The Pilates instructor and students were excited to participate in this national program. We also showed our community getting their “green” on during a coastal cleanup.
2014 – Theme: “Out is In”
Campers at the Deering Estate in 2014 got creative OUTside and made tie-dye shirts in celebration of Park and Recreation Month. They always enjoy smiling for the camera!
2015 – Theme: “Park and Recreation Month 80’s-style”
Everyone LOVES to celebrate an anniversary and the Deering Estate celebrated 30 years of Park and Recreation Month at the Fee-Free “P.L.A.Y.” Day on Sunday, July 19, 2015.
We asked staff to throw it back to the 80’s by wearing their favorite 80’s attire and accessories, and they came ready to rock!
The Fee-Free “P.L.A.Y.” Days were created to honor the Deering Estate’s partner organizations and the community. On July 19, 2015, we welcomed over 1,700 people to the Estate and they enjoyed a variety of activities including ongoing self-guided tours of the historic houses, mini-canoe tours (for an additional fee), the GroveHouse Artist exhibit, and more! Throughout the day staff shared information on Park and Recreation Month with guests.
The press release for the Deering Estate’s July Fee-Free “P.L.A.Y.” Day included the following information highlighting Park & Recreation Month:
Each July since 1985, America has celebrated Park and Recreation Month, a program of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The goal is to raise awareness of the vital impact that parks, recreation and conservation has on communities across the U.S.
This July, the Deering Estate and NRPA are celebrating 30 years of Park and Recreation Month and the enduring importance of parks and recreation for the world. Parks are the cornerstone of nearly every community, serving millions of people as the places anyone can go to be active, live healthier, connect with nature and gather together.
Staff at the Deering Estate will be celebrating 30 years of Park and Recreation Month at the Fee-Free “P.L.A.Y.” Day on Sunday, July 19th by throwing it back to the 80’s in their favorite 80’s attire and accessories!
An online ad placement through Miami-Dade Parks featured the 2015 Park & Recreation Month (see below). One example of it appearing on the web was on the environment section of the Miami Herald.
Park and Recreation Month is a way for hundreds of park and recreation agencies across the country to share and promote a unified message: the importance of parks and recreation in health and wellness, conservation and social equity, and to recognize the thousands of park and recreation employees that maintain our nation’s local and community parks. By participating in this annual campaign, your park and NRPA both receive additional exposure.
How do you celebrate Park and Recreation Month. Share your tips in the comments or on social media using #SuperJuly!
Cathy Guerra is the Marketing Specialist at Deering Estate.
Cathy began her employment with Miami-Dade County in 2003 at the Department of Cultural Affairs. Cathy served as the officer for the Community Grants Program and the Tourist Development Council Program. In early 2006, Cathy moved to the Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and served as the Department’s Public Information Officer. In late 2006, Cathy became the Marketing Coordinator for the Deering Estate at Cutler and was soon promoted to the Deering Estate Marketing Specialist.
Cathy graduated from Florida International University where she earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature. During her undergraduate studies, she also completed the Film Studies Certificate Program. Cathy spent a summer studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic. Cathy is a native to South Florida and the mom of two enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.