Parks and Recreation departments have played an enormous role in the quality of our lives, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more and more families have visited neighborhood parks to enjoy the benefits of sunshine and fresh air, the importance of parks and recreation has never been more appreciated.
Since July is Park and Recreation Month, there couldn’t be a better time to express our thanks to essential parks and recreation workers. They are tirelessly working so that parks across our nation remain open, providing respite during these challenging times.
These crucial workers have selflessly educated the public on safe park use. They have provided consistent and ongoing messaging, and also reinforced the need for the community to come together.
By emphasizing cohesiveness and using upbeat messaging, parks and recreation departments have found a positive and receptive audience willing to be educated on safety.
Another example of these workers' selflessness is how they have set up food distribution sites to help the hungry. Because schools have been closed, without the help of park and recreation workers setting up food distribution sites, school children would have gone without meals.
Distribution sites can be set up in a park, but they are often set up at a school as a “drive-thru” site. While this setup works for a large part of the community, not all families have access to transportation.
With this in mind, some recreation staffs have taken this a step further by handing out breakfast and lunch bags, often out of the back of a food service truck. The trucks are driven to apartments or housing complexes for children to grab and take back to their residences. By transporting meals, these workers bridge a divide as many families lack transportation and cannot access a drive-thru meal site.
These essential workers have organized and taken quick action, focusing on the health and well-being of the hungry and vulnerable.
These are just some examples of the ongoing community commitment we see from parks and recreation workers. Thank you to the unsung heroes who’ve made it possible to visit our local parks!