By Wylie Goodman
Parks are essential to cities, offering respite from hectic daily life and serving for many residents as their unofficial backyard. Parks are also democratic spaces, where people from all walks of life can relax and play together,
Story time in three languages? Yes, if you’re in Travers Park located in Jackson Heights, Queens.
But for a park to welcome everybody in a community, parks programming and activities need to appeal and be relevant to the diversity of people who live in a neighborhood.
That’s why Partnerships for Parks, with funding from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, partnered with the Immigrants & Parks Collaborative to create “A Guide to Immigrant Outreach in NYC Parks,” which aims to inspire and inform Park Friends group how to successfully include and engage immigrants in their park advocacy, stewardship, and programming.
Putting their mark on the park, students from a local school paint trash cans in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
The reasons to include immigrants in parks work are many, from reaching new audiences to diversifying programming and finding allies for shared concerns.
New York City’s parks are a testament to the city’s diversity (40% of NYC residents are foreign-born) and offer immigrants an important entry point for participating in civic life. For parks groups looking to make a difference in their communities, one question then stands out: Are you ready to reach out and engage immigrants to help you make
a difference in your parks?
Members of the Immigrants & Parks Collaborative on a site visit to Sara D. Roosevelt Park.
With “A Guide to Immigrant Outreach in NYC Parks,” your group can ensure that the answer to that question is “Yes.”