The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.
Those in Idaho Falls now have new ways to give back to their community by volunteering with the Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department.
This spring, Adopt-a-Park, Adopt-a-Field, and Park Steward programs are being launched to give people the chance to participate in the upkeep and beautification of their favorite park. The Parks and Recreation Department believes the success of the parks system depends on the support, advocacy and enthusiasm of community volunteers.
“The Adopt-a-Park programs build a sense of community pride and ownership around every park and facility in the City of Idaho Falls,” said Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Director PJ Holm. “As a Parks and Recreation Department, we felt it important to bring our community together by establishing these new programs.”
Through the Adopt-a-Park program, the City seeks to find the best practices and strategies to work together in enhancing the parks system. Volunteers can also work on larger projects such as painting facilities, caring for playgrounds and specialized maintenance beyond picking up trash.
As the Parks and Recreation Department faces the labor shortage felt by industries across the board, the programs will offset the lack of staffing. Right now, the Parks Department has around 60 seasonal parks employee openings, but significantly fewer applicants.
“We really need the community support to keep these parks beautiful,” Parks and Recreation Volunteer Coordinator Renee Buchan said. “There is already an active interest from residents to contribute to our parks system and these programs will give them that opportunity.”
Park stewards will be caretaker volunteers to work independently in an area of their favorite parks and or parks. The program will offer monthly educational courses that teach planting and trimming techniques to the history of our great parks.
The stewards will also act as park ambassadors who can be civically engaged members of the Parks and Recreation Department to effectively communicate with the public about our parks systems. In addition, the stewards get to volunteer on their own time and answer questions those utilizing our parks may have. They will also undergo training to share knowledge with volunteers on the care and upkeep of our parks.
“Anyone who loves being in the park every day and wants to be a face the public can safely approach and ask questions would be a great candidate for a park steward,” Buchan said.
For more information on the Adopt-a-Park, Adopt-a-Field and Park Steward programs visit the City of Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation website.