Improve Your Parks (Part I): An Illustrated Guide

by Heather Van De Mark on

Last week, I attended Partnership for Parks meeting, How Can I Improve My Park? It was a fantastic panel discussion between city officials and active community volunteers on how people can improve their parks. [Note: I’ll be covering the details of the panel talk in tomorrow’s post.] It was ALSO the launch event for The Center for Urban Pedagogy’s (CUP) newest publication, How Can I Improve My Park?, a pamphlet that unfolds to 22″ × 32″ poster detailing how to make change within your parks.

CUP's How Can I Improve My Park poster/pamphlet. View full guide.

CUP’s How Can I Improve My Park poster/pamphlet. View full guide.

The poster/pamphlet details the differences between a capital project (ex: improving accessibility or building a dog run) and a maintenance/staff issue (ex: mowing lawns or cleaning bathrooms). Once you know what type of improvement you want, the guide explains how to go about achieving it–be it through coalition building, contacting your Outreach Coordinator and elected officials, what to do when you hit a roadblock, and more. [Note: Look for an upcoming post this week with all your parks-related contacts.]

In short: this poster/pamphlet is awesome. Several members of the panel expressed how they wish they had had something like this when they were first getting involved in helping their parks, because the system can seem so unwieldy.

You can download the poster for free or purchase it online for $8.

CUP produced this poster as part of it’s Making Public Policy series in which CUP partners with policy advocates and graphic designers to produce foldout posters that explain complicated policy issues. Learn more about Making Public Policy program and CUP’s other available resources at on their website.

Heather Van De Mark

Heather Van De Mark

Heather is a designer/writer specializing in non-profit organizations and social causes. Originally from central NY, Heather settled into the charming Greenpoint neighborhood in 2011. While most of her community activism takes place from behind a computer screen, Heather can often be found at CB1 meetings, the McCarren Park track and any of the parks along the waterfront.