Unique Ways for Parks & Rec Departments to Facilitate Growth in Their Communities

Go beyond conventional growth strategies by using these six ideas to facilitate growth in your community and develop a thriving environment for all.
min read

Parks and recreation departments play a vital role in their communities, providing a place for the community to relax, connect, and get active. However, perhaps more importantly, these spaces foster growth and development. By implementing unique initiatives and programs, parks and rec departments have the power to encourage healthy lifestyles, promote diversity and inclusion, and strengthen community relationships. Go beyond your conventional growth strategies by using the following examples to facilitate growth in your community and develop a thriving environment for all.

Community Volunteer Days

Sure, you likely offer volunteer opportunities around your community year-round, but setting aside a couple days each year specifically for volunteering can encourage more participation and develop a sense of pride and ownership in the community itself.

Dog Parks

Dog parks are the modern-day watering hole. They’re a place for folks to gather to share a common interest and interact with other members of the community. Whether your municipality does not yet have an organized dog park or your existing park needs some improvements, having a place for social interaction for all members of your community—furry or not—is an important step in creating an environment that’s welcoming to all.  

Public Art Installations

People bond over shared interests, especially when it comes to art and culture. Art installations displayed around your community not only support local artists but beautify otherwise mundane areas of your city or town, like sprucing up electrical boxes with paint or putting up murals on blank walls or structures. These installations can serve as meeting places for community members to socialize, as well as opportunities to promote culture.

Outdoor Fitness Classes

What’s more motivating than working out together? Organizing group fitness classes that encourage people to get moving while also spending time outside is a great way to develop a sense of community and develop growth. Work with a local fitness instructor, business, or the YMCA to host weekly or monthly yoga, Zumba, group hikes, or body weight HIIT.

Cultural Festivals

Expand your residents’ minds and viewpoints with cultural festivals that celebrate and educate your community on the diverse backgrounds that make your community great. Help folks break out of their comfort zones by learning about different traditions, music, dance, and food from members of your community.

Natural Playgrounds

While modern play structures are great, sometimes the best way to facilitate growth for the little ones in your community is to go back to the basics. Designing play areas with elements from nature—rocks, logs, water features—can promote not only imaginative play but also an appreciation of nature.

Take this a step further by offering educational classes for everyone in your community—from guided hikes to bird-watching excursions—to learn more about the world around them and the elements that support their specific community. With more appreciation for the environment around them, community members will feel more of a duty to preserve it for everyone to enjoy for years to come.

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June 8, 2023
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