Promoting Health and Wellness
The senior center operated by [park and Recreation agency name] has partnered with the local hospital and funders to create Aging With Energy. In this program, senior participants receive free pre- and postfitness testing and classes that increase fitness, strength, balance, and cardiorespiratory endurance. Seniors learn to monitor their own blood pressure and depression, two of the biggest health concerns among people ages 65 to 75. The program not only educates the elderly; it also empowers them by reminding them that they have control of their physical condition.
Increasing Cultural Unity
More than 60 ethnic communities participated in the International Friendship Festival, sponsored by the [park and Recreation agency name]. City officials say that the festival is effective in building bridges in the community, reducing fear and intolerance, and motivating residents into lifelong learning. Since the recent suspected racially motivated attack of [name], the town had been stricken with suspicion, resentment, and pain. The festival attempted to open up dialogue once again among residents of the diverse community.
Facilitating Community Problem Solving
Amid recent public debates about skateboarding on city sidewalks and parking lots, the [local park and Recreation agency name] has proposed construction of a skateboard park in a nearby park. Both sides agree that this is the right solution because of its proximity to the middle school and public transportation.
Protecting Environmental Resources
Eight youth from the local high school joined biologist [name] in a hike along a local stream to look for signs of an oil spill that occurred six months ago. The program was originally designed to involve local teens in cleaning up the spill, but it has evolved into an ongoing monitoring program. Representatives from the [park and Recreation agency name] now routinely talk to the local high school’s 9th- and 10th-grade biology classes to give students updates on the status of the stream.
Strengthening Safety and Security
Based on findings that youth ages 12 to 17 are at the highest risk of violence between the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the [park and Recreation agency name] partnered with the local police department and [name] school district to design programs that provide youth with a safe place to be after school. The conversation resulted in the development of a teen program, which now serves [XX] youth. Youth-related crimes have decreased in the neighborhood by [XX]%, and residents, parents, and youth alike credit the teen program with contributing to the town’s safety.
Strengthening Community Image and Sense of Place
To assist the community in remembering the September 11, 2001, attack, the [park and Recreation agency name] will sponsor an annual candlelight vigil at a local park to commemorate the loss of lives.
Supporting Economic Development
A recent study conducted by the [name] Real Estate Agents Association showed that quality of life ranked in the top five most important factors in deciding to purchase a home in [city].
The [name] park and Recreation agency recently received the highest award from [organization] for its efforts in attracting shoppers to the downtown shopping district during its remodeling. Owner of [name of store] stated that the Thursday night street fair organized by the [name] park and Recreation department increased his sales in spite of the streets being under repair.
This is an excerpt from Creating Community: An Action Plan for Parks and Recreation.