Park and Recreation Month was originally endorsed by then-Vice President George H. W. Bush and Walter Payton in 1984 to celebrate our love of and access to federal, state and municipal parks and community centers. It has been observed each July ever since, offering the perfect reason to spend some quality time with friends and family at a local park. This year, we’re sharing four more ways to inspire your community and raise awareness of your programs during Park and Recreation Month.
1. Focus on Discovery
In keeping with this year’s theme, parks and recreation departments are tasked with encouraging community members to “Live a Life of Discovery.” Take the opportunity to share details about all of the programs you offer, while encouraging participants to try something new. This is an excellent way to promote classes or events lagging in registrations.
2. Spread the Word
Park and Recreation Month is also fitting time to proactively reach out to your community and, in turn, give them the opportunity to help you spread the word about your programs. For example, ACTIVE Net®’s built-in email tools allow you to send targeted emails with details and registration links that are easy for your constituents to forward. You can also use a press release (find a useful template here) to pitch to local media and gain exposure on news or radio shows.
3. Host a Park and Recreation Month Open House
Another way to unite your community around this special holiday is with an invitation to visit your facility. An open house is the ideal time to showcase what’s new, provide tours, introduce staff and just have some fun. Don’t forget to whip up some tasty snacks, too! NRPA’s recommended Open House Day is July 21. You can hold tandem events at various centers and parks, or host one giant celebration at your largest venue. Be sure to send a targeted “it’s been awhile” invitation to community members who may not have been to a class or activity lately, encouraging them to continue their life of discovery.
4. Engage the Community
Finally, social media is a great way to spread the word and encourage engagement all year round, and especially during Park and Recreation Month. Popular posts don’t just happen, though, and certain best practices can make your social media posts interesting and shareable. What’s more, your social media plan must align with your communications and marketing strategies.
July is a great time to increase your visibility in your community and celebrate your organization. Here’s to Park and Recreation Month!