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Re-Imagining San Jose Parks

By James P. Reber, Executive Director, San Jose Parks Foundation

I had an incredible experience this past July, attending the Greater & Greener Conference in New York City, the largest gathering ever of Park and Trail Professionals, Advocates, and Supporters – over 900 people from 200 cities. What has become clear to me is:

  1. This is a national movement, an effort to re-imagine our parks and trails.
  2. Parks are at the heart of our Democracy. Parks are shared by every citizen.
  3. Parks are whatever we want them to be, limited only by our imagination.
  4. Even with budget cuts to parks everywhere, we have an opportunity to own and redefine parks, trails in new ways.

What this means for you is that: (1) you can learn from others who have already successfully redefined their parks; (2) you live among some of the most creative people in the world; and (3) you have a vehicle for unleashing the creative energy of your community – San Jose Parks Foundation.

San Jose Parks Foundation focuses on 4 key areas:

  1. Neighborhood & Citizen Empowerment. Cutting through red tape, working directly with local groups, enables citizens to have a impact on parks.
  2. Volunteer Recruitment, Training, & Organizing. The Foundation actively engages volunteers to do tens of thousands of dollars of work each year.
  3. Youth Programming. One example is KIDS@PLAY, youth to address the crisis in childhood obesity.
  4. Community Advocacy for Parks. We are your voice for parks and trails.

San Jose Parks Foundation works to raise funds for several programs and neighborhood groups. The foundation has secured corporate local support, including eBay, Wells Fargo Bank and PG&E, among others.

Join this movement now. It’s easy. Make a donation of any amount. Volunteer. Invite us to speak to your group. [www.sanjoseparks.org]