Take Pride In Your Local Park
If your neighborhood park is looking a little shabby, make it your mission to make it shine. Parks play an important role in neighborhoods. They provide a quiet space to rest and a fun place to gather. They help you get in touch with nature and provide a setting for your favorite sports competition. A pretty park also can increase the property values of nearby homes. Check out these simple tips for revamping your neighborhood park.
Gather your team.
A major park renovation is quite a task to take on alone. You're going to need friends, and a lot of them. Pass out fliers, knock on doors and use social networking to find other residents who feel as passionately about your park project as you do. You'll need people to help fundraise, plan, organize and provide manual labor. There's a job for everyone.
Find the funds.
Park revamps don't come cheap. Talk to your city council or other local government to see if there's room in the budget to fund any or all of your project. The town may even be willing to match funds you put toward the project. Once you know how much they can cover, it's your job to find the rest. Hold fundraisers and ask for donations. Consider events such as concerts, bake sales, plant sales and dinners.
Focus on the front lines.
The park entrance makes a big impact on the rest of the park and neighborhood. If your park has an existing sign, give it a new coat of paint and plant some flowers around it. If it doesn't have one, then getting one should be high on your list. The right sign will set the tone for the rest of the park and make it stand out.
Plant flowers & greenery.
Flowers make everything pretty. Add them wherever you can in your park to make the area look bright and vibrant. Plant perennials instead of annuals to save you time and money in years to come. Instead of buying perennials, ask neighbors to donate cuttings and starts from their own gardens. Every year, when it's time to divide the plants, you can move them around the park, adding to the beauty.
Shine up your shelters.
Park shelters bring people to your park, providing a place to barbecue, throw a birthday party or have a meeting. Shelters are often the largest structures at a park, too, so a shelter that looks good will make the rest of the park look great. Give it a new coat of paint, cover up graffiti and replace worn benches and picnic tables.
Consider a rain garden.
Instead of trying to fill or cover up a low spot that fills with water every time it rains, embrace it. Create a rain garden, meant to collect the water. Fill it with plants that require lots of water and turn this once ugly spot into a point of beauty in your park.
Equipment upgrades and additions are usually the most expensive parts of park renovations. If you can afford it, upgrade your playground equipment and sports equipment. Not only will these improvements make your park more aesthetically pleasing and draw in new neighbors, but upgrades are usually safer than the originals.
Other ways to get involved in your community