Bringing People Together
Our parks and green open spaces are community spaces, they are spaces for friends, families, and the local community to get together. For volunteer and community groups in parks and green spaces, reaching out to local communities can be a way of encouraging more people to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors and their local community spaces. Getting people involved in activities in their local community spaces can bring communities together, encourage people to appreciate their community spaces, and is a great way to meeting new people. It’s also an opportunity to encourage more people to volunteer in their local community, whether that’s to encourage more nature into our local green spaces, getting involved in community fundraisers, volunteering for wellbeing walks.
Useful links for online and social media
If you are just getting started and want get your local community involved, start by thinking about how you can use social media to promote your community group and activities.
Once you’ve got yourself set up online, the My Community website provides guidance on how to engage with your local community and encourage people to use their park, including a step – by – step guide on how to write an engagement plan.
Diversity and inclusivity
When asked what the most important feature a local community park or green space should have, some of the most common responses we received were that community green spaces should be inclusive, accessible spaces that cater to the needs of the community.
The Conversation Volunteers (TCV) have created a booklet of activities designed to be accessible and help people connect with the outdoors and natural environment. Follow this link to access TCV Accessible Activities guidance.
Sean Douglas, Senior Producer for the National Trust, and a hiking enthusiast, published a fantastic podcast taking his sister our for her first hike and exploring what can be done to entice new communities into the great outdoors. You can check out the Black Hiking podcast on the Nature Trust website.
My Community offers guidance on steps friends of groups can take to increase the diversity of parks users, volunteers, staff and boards. The My Community guidance is for anyone involved in managing a park or green space and covers why diversity matters, adopting a diversity, equality and inclusion statement or policy, how to build a diverse board, and recruiting more diverse volunteers and staff.
Accessibility also means ensuring that parks and green open spaces are accessible for people with different mobility needs, including paths that are well-maintained and plenty of spaces for people with limited mobility to sit. Our Cambs Open Space website includes details of the mobility access for each of the park and green space featured.
For many people, accessible parks and open spaces should offer a diverse range of services for all ages, abilities and interests. For example play facilities that cater to children as they develop through adolescence, and facilities for adults and teenagers – such as social spaces and cafes in places where parents and carers can keep an eye on younger children.
Make Space for Girls is an organisation that raise awareness on how to make our parks and green spaces more inclusive for teenage girls. Bringing together a number of case studies of parks that have been designed to be more appealing for younger teenage girls.