5 Ways Citizens Can Give Back to Their Parks & Rec Community

While there are some obvious ways for citizens to give back to their community, consider these five other helpful initiatives as well.
min read

A community doesn’t exist without its members, and that goes for the local parks and recreation department, too. For a community to thrive, it needs the participation and buy-in of everyone involved. And while there are some obvious ways to give back to your community, such as donations and community service, consider these five other helpful initiatives as well.

Volunteer at events

From festivals to clean-up days and everything in between, parks and recreation departments rely on volunteers to help get necessary jobs and projects done around the community. If community members want better spaces to enjoy around the city or town, there's only so much government employees can do—it’s partially up to members to pitch in and help.

Join advisory committees

A more direct line to change in the community is advisory committees or focus groups. Members of these organizations have a real say in the decisions that are made around the community that affect the lives of each member on a day-to-day basis. Consider joining your local parks and recreation department’s group to provide input, offer ideas, and assist in fundraising to help shape the future of your community and its priorities.

If you care about your community’s growth, it’s also important to stay informed about local policies, budgets, and plans related to parks and recreation. Attend public meetings, voice your support or concerns, and advocate for policies you believe in.

Share skills and expertise

Everyone comes to the table with their own knowledge and experiences. Why not share yours! Whether you are a whiz at marketing or come from a diverse background comprised of many cultures, your knowledge is valuable in helping broaden the community’s horizon and facilitate growth within its members. Offer to teach a workshop, host an event, or facilitate a talk on your area of expertise, maybe even inspiring others to do the same!

Respect and protect the environment

When folks think about their local parks and recreation department, they likely envision all the outdoor spaces they love to enjoy. A small but powerful way members can give back to their local parks and rec community is by respecting the spaces they frequent. Follow designated trails, dispose of waste properly, and avoid damaging habitats, then educate others on the importance of these small acts and how they can make a lasting difference.

Participate in programs and activities

Another incredibly easy way to give back to the community is by simply participating. If your department spends time coming up with and putting on fun and innovative events that no one shows up to, they won’t be around for much longer. If no one uses the soccer field, it will be repurposed into something else. By actively engaging and utilizing the resources available, you demonstrate the value of these programs, facilities, and other offers, and you contribute to their continued availability for everyone in the community.

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June 20, 2023
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