Friends in the news

Adopt-a-Park Task Force recommends changes to program

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Concluding its work in March,
the Adopt-a-Park Task Force completed its
review of the Adopt-a-Park program and protocols
for sponsorships. 
The
group recommended a significant change to the current Adopt-a-Park Policy
because it is too limited in scope to fully address the need,
and there is opportunity to develop a a more clearly defined program that:

  • Is consistent with, and
    supports, the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task
    Force on Parks and Recreation, and Green Grand Rapids recommendations and
    strategies
  • Is developed and
    implemented in partnerships with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and
    community partners
  • Is marketed effectively
    and clearly defines the application process and the requirements,
    commitments and benefits for participating

The
Task Force also looked at the growing number of cities implementing
Adopt-a-Park programs in order to maintain and improve parks. It
reviewed models from across the country to examine best-practices and potential
pitfalls.  Moving from a policy to a program is going to be essential to success.

Among
the recommendations for an expanded program are to:

  • institute a Bid Discount option for participants
  • develop a clear application process
  • document basic to more advanced
    volunteer opportunities
  • outline qualifications and requirements for park
    projects
  • develop more uniform standards for sponsor recognition
  • change sign
    ordinances for improved sponsor recognition
  • improve recognition for individual volunteers and groups
  • develop a more
    comprehensive brand for the program

A final
report with all the recommendations will be made available in April as we seek to get the official acknowledgment of the changes from the city.  Program
development in partnership with the City is already underway with an
anticipated formal launch later this year. 

Friends of Grand Rapids
Parks would like to thank the
following individuals for dedicating their time and talent to the Task Force and
our
community parks.

  • Alex Thomas
  • Barbara Rohwer
  • Bob Zylstra
  • Connie Bohatch
  • Chris Beckering
  • Chuck Hoyt
  • Diane Baumann
  • Greg Sundstrum
  • Heather Kaweck
  • Jose Reyna
  • James Hurt
  • Kayem Dunn
  • Ruth Kelly
  • Mary Angelo
  • Rosalynn Bliss

If you are interested in learning more about Adopt-a-Park or sponsoring a
program, please let us know.  We will be looking for several pilot sites
around the city.


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