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People, Places & Parks Thought Leadership

Showing Appreciation for All Parks and Recreation Workers

By Michael Halicki

We know parks play a vital role in our wellness as places where we’re able to connect with nature close to home. During this COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more Atlantans visit neighborhood parks and trails to enjoy the benefits of sunshine and fresh air, the importance of parks has never been more apparent or more greatly appreciated.

However, those who make it possible to visit our local parks—that is, the staff and essential workers of our local departments of parks and recreation—also deserve our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for their service and sacrifices during this difficult time. Without their daily efforts, the health benefits of parks would be beyond reach for the rest of us.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the staff at Park Pride, I want to express my sincere thanks to those who are working so that parks across the city remain open and places of respite during this crisis: both to those who are maintaining parks and those administering parks and recreation operations. We are so grateful for the work you do to keep our parks safe and open for communities. We recognize the risks you’re taking for the benefit of others and extend our deepest thanks to you and your families.

Have you, reader, enjoyed a park or trail recently? If so, I invite you to join Park Pride in expressing thanks to the parks and recreation employees in the jurisdictions that Park Pride serves. Write a personalized handwritten card or note! We created helpful one-pagers for sending such thank you letters: one that provides contact information for Atlanta’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and another for DeKalb County, Brookhaven, and Tucker. We have asked department heads within each respective government agency to extend these messages of support to front line employees. Similar efforts to support parks and recreation departments outside Park Pride’s service area are also encouraged!

With much appreciation for all parks and recreation workers,

Michael Halicki

P.S. – Beyond the simple act of saying “thank you,” we encourage all park users to practice social distancing and limit activity at crowded parks where that practice is difficult. Stick to those that provide ample space to spread out or near your house that are less likely to draw large gatherings. Also, consider visiting parks during off-peak hours when crowds are less likely. By putting health first, you honor the service of our parks maintenance workers that keep these spaces accessible for our safe, responsible use in this difficult time.


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