What does the Parks Make Life Better!® brand mean to YOU?
Here are a few stories to inspire you...
In the summer of 2012, I initiated a training curriculum to part-time staff that provided them knowledge and understanding of what Parks Make Life Better meant and why it was important to understand. Staff were introduced to the 6 key messages of Play, Nature, Exercise, Gathering Places, Positive Spaces, and Forever. Through discussion and group exercises the staff came to understand how these messages directly were linked to the job roles and responsibilities they held as they prepared to delivery services to the community. It further provided staff to collaborate more and to understand the importance of the impacts they have to the community and participants that visit us.
Fast forward 7 years and the key messages are very much important to everyone today and now I have personally taken these messages and shared them with my family. My two children who love to play outside and enjoy our #parktour2019 adventures, where we visit parks locally, in the region and when on vacations are beginning to see the significance of making their lives better. I love to see them run and play and one day while we were playing at our neighborhood park my daughter turned to me and said, “Daddy, I am so happy you work here, and we can play at parks.” What she was referring to was me working in Parks & Recreation and providing her the opportunity explore and enjoy parks, pools, and of course our zoo.
The brand has come full circle for me in as it started and was launched before I had children, but now having two children the message is clear to them that Parks make their lives better! #PMLB
I had this really cool thing happen in our summer interviews. Our interviews are a group interview and the first thing the applicants have to do is a presentation on themselves and why they feel they’d be a good fit for this job. A young man who is currently taking our Lifeguard courses, was very happy to present on this portion. He told us he’s been in the recreation programs in Patterson his whole life. He grew up doing flag football, basketball and our soccer league. He pointed to one of the panel members and said, “I remember you, you were my soccer coach!”. This interviewee enjoyed his time in recreational programs and wants to be a Lifeguard so he can give back to the community, give other kids the experiences he had! Parks & Recreation teach life skills, and make life Better.
When I was young, my Mom wanted my sister and I to be active so she decided that we both would play softball. She signed us up for the Bobby Sox Softball League. From the age of seven up to high school, we played. We spent our Springs and Summers in the parks, playing with friends and making new friends. My Mom was our team manager, my Dad, the coach. My older brother became a referee. It was a family affair. Moving from elementary school to junior high and then to high school was no big deal. Due to playing softball, we had friends from all over and the bonds that were created during those long days at the park carried into school. Mom and Dad to us were “Mom” and “Dad” to all.
Fast forward to today. I am still in touch with many of the friends we met and played softball with way back then. When we get together, we reminisce, “Remember when (fill in the blank)….” and laugh or sigh. The life-long memories and friendships were born at a park. It helped form who we are today. To that I am thankful and say, “Parks (truly do) make life better”!