Even with all of the negativity we are barraged with on a continual basis, in the world we live in. There are a lot of ways we can make the world we live in a better place and there are many cities and municipalities doing just that. In this blog post, we wanted to feature 5 cities that are utilizing parks and recreation to make a difference. With the community’s wellbeing in mind, parks and recreation organizations have a lot of tools and assets they can use to improve the communities they serve. Here are a few organizations doing amazing work.
is doing what they can to reduce violence with at-risk youth. By partnering with the , Seattle Parks and Recreation is creating a safe haven for youth where they “provide challenging, constructive, hands-on educational and artistic activities during late night and universal program hours.” By providing a constructive environment where programs are focused on civic engagement, employment, arts, education, environment and community capacity building, the youth are taught many values that will help them be engaged with their communities. Want another amazing fact about their work? This program has been running for over 17 years!
Although it’s a national park and not a city, we felt it was worth mentioning the environmental . From water reduction goals, to a 40% construction and demolition diversion rate for a remodeling project and property-wide recycling program, is setting a great standard for other parks and recreation organizations to meet. Additionally, the historic Grand Canyon Railway has evolved to make the train and resort operations as environmentally sustainable as possible. It now runs on 100% clean burning waste vegetable oil, produced a few miles away.
The and active living, especially for youth, are well documented. The has teamed up with the , to ensure all children in the city have access to safe and engaging play space in their own neighborhood. The not only ensures playgrounds are valued, protected and improved citywide, they also host volunteer events, cleanups, park activation events, and monitor progress with important metrics.
is doing great work in preserving the history and culture of their local communities. In 2017, they will be celebrating their Centennial and they are out to collect personal stories of how their parks have impacted citizens’ lives. will consist of audio recordings of stories that will be preserved in archives, which will then be shared for years to come. We always think about how we can evolve to better our futures, but taking the time to celebrate history (and where we’ve come from) is very valuable.
The has used their momentum from the 2010 Winter Olympics to become a major destination; one of the most livable cities in the world, with one of their main goals to become the . By laying out three overarching areas of focus (zero carbon, zero waste, healthy ecosystems), the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan created with at least one measurable target: climate & renewables, green buildings, green transportation, zero waste, access to nature, clean water, local food, clean air, green economy, and a lighter footprint. By working with the city council, residents, businesses, other organizations and all levels of government, they’ve made .
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