New Efforts To Liven Up Parks

In Ohio, officials are looking at new ways to liven up their parks. They are providing incentives for volunteers to help beautify and maintain the parks, in addition to adding new programs to attract users to frequent the parks.

According to Ruthann Spears, manager of the Cincinnati Parks Explore Nature Program, Cincinnati Parks launched in August 'The Dog Days of Summer,' which quickly sold out. For $25, the course allowed pet owners to gather each Saturday and hear lectures by local pet experts and take their dogs through an agility course and on hikes, said Spears.

"In April, the Park Board launched 'Give a Day – Get a Game' to recruit local volunteers to help beautify the parks. About 7,000 volunteers each donated four hours of labor, planting flower beds and clearing away brush from walking trails in exchange for tickets to one of four Cincinnati Reds games," Spears says.

Other states hare trying their hands in similar programs. For example, in Sonoma County, California, they introduced a 'Park-n-Eat Program' where for a $25 fee, in which 10 percent of their profits are donated, six food truck vendors sold meals, from Mexican and Indian food to crepes every Tuesday, according to Gail Short.

Full Story: Parks and recreation departments try new fund-raising ideas

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