The Daily Plant : Wednesday, September 14, 2005
PARTNERING FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Throughout the summer months, Parks & Recreation has been working closely with Partnerships for Parks to host "Meet and Greet" events in each borough. Partnerships has hosted eight of these highly successful events so far this summer, with four more planned before the end of October. Sessions take place at sites with new gardeners and playground associates funded through the Neighborhood Parks Initiative, a public/private initiative bringing together Parks & Recreation, New Yorkers for Parks, the City Parks Foundation, and the Central Park Conservancy. The aim of the initiative is to renovate and maintain City parks over the next six years.
These outreach efforts are aimed at building stronger relationships between the agency and community, and at making sure local residents know about new resources in their area. At each event, in addition to getting to know the Gardener and Playground Associate, residents can visit a table provided by Partnerships staff with information about how to get more involved in stewardship of their local park.
At Bayswater Park, for example, 50 children from two Head Start programs came out to garden and plant flowers with Gardener Luigi Capella and enjoy arts and crafts with Playground Associate Tyrell Robinson. Children already in the park joined in, and Partnerships staff provided cold beverages and information on how to become more involved in Parks.
Outreach Coordinator Laura Prussin comments, "I hope these events will be just the start of some great relationships with local programs and the great Bayswater Park staff."
The Yellowstone Park event brought out kids from the Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center, who enjoyed planting and a Playmobile provided by Recreation. The Grover Cleveland Park event included planting with Gardener Dennis Treder and games for kids with Playground Associate Kevin Gordon. It was a fun day, with about 25 people stopping by to say hello; later on, local day campers and residents enjoyed a game of Red Light, Green Light.
Partnerships also hosted an event to promote Sara D. Roosevelt Park at I.S. 131. The session was hosted by the Chinese-American Planning Council, M’Finda Kalunga Garden Volunteers, and the Hestor Street Collaborative. Park Manager Elaine Crowley and Gardener Sarah Aronson both attended. In addition to introducing people to the new Gardener, Outreach Coordinator Leah Worrell distributed a questionnaire to the community groups to get feedback about how they could work together on park stewardship. Groups discussed starting a coalition and how to collaborate with other organizations to help Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
For more information on Meet and Greets and other events hosted by Partnerships for Parks, visit www.parthershipsforparks.org or call (212) 360-1310. For a comprehensive list of events in local parks, visit nyc.gov/parks
-written by Dana Molina and Nate Harris
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay."
Simone De Beauvoir