Signs of spring are all around us, especially when we look at our visitation numbers! We are seeing more visits this March and April than in the past, and more than three times what we saw in January and February! This is great news because it means Louisvillians are getting outside and getting active in our parks. This is what our mission is all about!
When I run into people using the parks, they often want to know what they can do to contribute to our success. As you know, we’re a donor-supported public park and do not receive tax support on an annual basis to help with the operations, maintenance, and programming in The Parklands. We depend on the good people of our community to give back to the parks they enjoy on a regular basis.
One way to give back is to contribute on our website and become a Member. Membership comes with lots of perks and you can read about those here, but the best perk is knowing you are a part of this budding organization building a legacy for the future of our city.
If you are not able to contribute financially, or would like to help in other ways too- we’ve got plenty of opportunities for you to get your hands dirty! We’ve just started Wednesday Morning Gardening back up again and on April 16 we have a garden mulching day going on at Creekside Center. These are great volunteer opportunities for folks who have time during the week and who enjoying learning about the plants in The Parklands.
These opportunities do not require training, previous experience, or filling out a volunteer application, but if you’d like to learn more about all the ways there are to volunteer in The Parklands, click here. We’d love to have you on board as a regular! It is, after all, National Volunteer Week!
In addition to these opportunities, twice a year we offer a Volunteer Creek Sweep. The spring edition is always in conjunction with the Mayors Give-A-Day initiative and is a fun way to help cleanup along Floyds Fork stream. April 18th is our third annual spring clean-up and this event is free and open to the public (of all ages). We’ll begin at the PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP Pavilion in Beckley Creek Park with a welcome and coffee and doughnuts as a small thank you for giving your time to improve the environment in our parks. From there, volunteers will begin cleanup along Floyds Fork in the Beckley Creek Park area.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring canoes and kayaks to clean in and around the creek. This is a fun and challenging way to participate. But if you don’t have a boat- you can still help out! We also need assistance picking up trash along the shoreline and in other key areas of the park. To learn more about this event, and to register click here.
We hope you’re inspired to join us for one of these volunteer opportunities that help beautify The Parklands for all of our visitors. Click here to sign up for our e-newsletter where we’ll be sure to keep you in-the-know about these and future opportunities to give back.Photo by John Nation.
About the Author
Ellen Doolittle Oost
Ellen has been the Director of Development at 21st Century Parks since April of 2015. In this role she oversees fundraising functions for The Parklands, including the annual fund/membership campaign, corporate sponsorships, supporting the Board of Directors, leading major fundraising events, and seeking grant and foundational support. It’s her goal to create multiple compelling opportunities for donors to support The Parklands, a donor-supported public park that does not receive tax dollar support on an annual basis but has four world-class parks free and open to the public 365 days a year.
Although fairly new to this role, Ellen is intimately familiar with The Parklands as she spent the previous 3 years as the Communications Manager in charge of public relations, social media, community outreach and marketing for the parks. Before joining 21st Century Parks she spent three years with Louisville-based advertising agency Doe-Anderson. Her background also includes marketing and account service roles at Anheuser-Busch InBev, PriceWeber advertising agency, and direct mail marketing at Traffic Builders, Inc. Ellen is a graduate of Marietta College where she studied advertising, public relations and marketing and played volleyball. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling with her two mutts and her husband Andrew.