World Parks Week

April 25 - May 3, 2020

 

Concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak continue to grip our world. As an organization, World Urban Parks advocates and supports the power of parks, open spaces, and nature as essential resources for health and wellness.

We believe that many parks and trails, open spaces and nature can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. In all instances, we strongly recommend people follow Government directions and guidelines regarding the use of these spaces and recognize that these vary from community to community.

We encourage local jurisdictions to keep parks, trails and nature open spaces accessible as long as it is safe to do so.

World Parks Week 2020 – Parks for All will be centred around the theme #NatureNeverCloses. With large gatherings either strongly discouraged or even banned, we are asking for our members, supporters, and partners to join in bolstering the role parks and recreation has in the recovery of physical and mental wellbeing of all.

World Parks Week is an opportunity to celebrate our parks and green spaces. The week is organised to:

  • Communicate the critical importance of parks in a global context
  • Promote best practices by learning from other parks services
  • Encourage people to enjoy nature and appreciate the importance of green space while maintaining physical distancing

World Parks Week was developed out of World Parks Day, which was held in the Fall. In 2017, World Urban Parks developed the event into a week and moved it to April/May. This way, we as a World Parks community can celebrate the week no matter what part of hemisphere of the world we call home.

#NatureNeverCloses Resource Page »

Park, Trail, Open Space & Nature Etiquette

World Urban Parks encourages you all to adhere to the WHO directives and guidelines and we all practice physical-distancing and other critically important safety guidelines as stipulated by our governments. Please check-in with your local park and recreation agency before leaving your home on restrictions, closures, and requirements on physical distancing.

  1. Know what 2 meters (6 feet) looks like. This is typically a bicycle length or an ice hockey stick! Maintain this distance between yourself and other people.
  2. Do not use playgrounds or other frequently touched surfaces. Be prepared for limited access or closures to amenities in parks and public open spaces.
  3. Do not use parks, trails, or public open spaces if you are exhibiting symptoms or are in self-isolation.
  4. Go by yourself or those you live with.
  5. Avoid crowded areas. Share the space with others and preserve physical distancing. If physical distancing cannot be preserved in parks, trails and public open spaces, go home and return at a later hour.

#NatureNeverCloses

With COVID-19 affecting each country, region and city differently, access to parks, trails and open space can be open, limited or even closed. People, now more than ever, are yearning for those spaces and the physical and mental wellbeing that comes with it. For World Parks Week 2020 we are challenging everyone out there to explore how and in what ways they are experiencing nature in their own circumstances. For instance, are you currently in self-isolation or unable to go to your local park or walk around the block? How then are you experiencing nature? You can bird watch from your window or balcony. You can enjoy time in your backyard. You may even start a herb or vegetable garden in your home! If you are fortunate enough to be able to go outside, in what ways are you now safely exploring nature? Is it a walk around your block? A run down your neighbourhood trail?

World Parks Week 2020 is an opportunity for us to share how and in what ways we are exploring nature! Remember, #NatureNeverCloses!

What does nature look like to you?

With concerns about COVID-19 outbreak continuing to grip our world, experiences with nature have become drastically different. However, natures physical and mental health outcomes are well documented. So what does nature look like to you? Is it simply bird watching from your window? Or making a herb garden in your home? Maybe its taking a quick walk around your block. Whatever it may be, we want to know! Share with us through using #NatureNeverCloses

How are you connecting with nature?

With how we use parks, trails and open spaces differing so much across the world, we want to know how are you connecting with nature? Are you under self-isolation protocols? If so, we want to know how you are now connecting with nature? Are you able to safely go to your local park or out around your home? We want to know how you are safely connecting with nature! Whatever it may be, we want to know! Share with us through using #NatureNeverCloses

What have you discovered recently about nature?

With varying degrees of park, trail and open space availability and access, we want to know how you have recently discovered about nature? Are you discovering new wildlife in your neighbourhood? maybe some goats! Or are you learning about new environmentally friendly ways to interact with your world online? Whatever it may be, we want to know! Share with us through using #NatureNeverCloses

How could you bring nature into your community?

With our world now looking different than it did a month or even a few weeks ago, we want to know how you could bring nature into your community? Are you able to share with your neighbours online the flora and fauna in your community? Discover the resources available by local organizations? Whatever it may be, we want to know! Share with us through using #NatureNeverCloses


World Parks Week Supporters

     

    

   

  

    

        

          

 

Sign up in Support of Parks Week 2020»


 

Parks Week - Branding

Thank you for your participation in Parks Week! We are excited to have you on board as a supporter and participant. The following is a guideline on parameters for using the provided branding as well as the media package for Parks Week.

Parks Week Media Package »

World Parks Week Webinars

What if?

Date & Time: April 27th, 2020 @ 11:00am EDT

Register for Webinar: https://iu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcpcuyprz8sGdBMobyEHsUaK2qbb9EtKB5Z

Register for CEUs HERE!

For assistance contact worldparksacademy@gmail.com

Webinar Description

What if there were 1,000 rope swings put up in every major city? What if streets were for people instead of cars? What if parks were used by everyone? What if cities became National Park Cities? What if parks were funded as part of country's health services?

Could the COVID19 Pandemic provide an opportunity to rethink the green and blue of Cities - What if we could do it better?

Join us for a webinar to explore the power of "What if?" as we launch a campaign to share and explore our own #WhatIfs.

In this session we'll hear about some big "What if?" questions asked by leaders, influencers, and thinkers on National Park Cities from the National Park City Foundation and Salzburg Global Seminar.

The conversation will then be opened out for participants to share their own "What if?" questions that will be explored by the panellists. What's your "What if?". What if you joined us?

Learning Objectives

After attending this webinar participants should be able to:
1. Explore the power of asking "What if?"
2. Discover lots of ideas to make life better
3. Learn from the hopes and needs of people working in other places around the world
4. Think creatively and critically about radical ideas and if they can be implemented

Speakers

Daniel Raven-Ellison, Alison Barnes, Dima Boulad, Leticia Lozano, & Dominic Regester
National Park City Foundation & Salzburg Global Seminar

Photo Credit: @watgdesigns

 

CitiesWithNature: The Benefits of Access to Nature for Urban Communities During and Beyond Pandemics and Associated Movement Restrictions

Date & Time: April 29th, 2020 @ 10:00am EDT

Register for Webinar: https://iu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMlf--gqD8oHtdxao-5qFLdCmCM9vZzgE5Z

Register for CEUs HERE!

For assistance contact worldparksacademy@gmail.com

Webinar Description

 This webinar will bring together speakers from cities and city networks around the world. In the webinar, we aim to share some thoughts, ideas, and experiences on the role that nature (and specifically urban parks) is playing in urban life at this current moment, in light of COVID-19, and how cities (given the need for differing regulations) are bringing parks to people and connecting people with nature, if at all. We would like to explore if there is more appreciation of parks and nature at this time, and if this is telling us anything about what the role of nature will be in the future of our cities. We will hear from a diverse range of perspectives, acknowledging that the situation is contextual and different in each part of the world. We might also explore how cities are using parks at this time, and how urban residents perceive the importance of nature in our cities, especially in relation to the pandemic. We will aim to communicate recommendations on the value of parks and keeping access to nature open, which is especially pertinent these days. We will highlight here how platforms like CitiesWithNature provide tools for cities to remain connected to the global community who is standing in solidarity with their response efforts. The webinar will also discuss and compare experiences, approaches, and responses from a variety of contexts and provide a space for reflection and discussion. Finally, we will share stories around how the need to connect online has come to the fore, especially in relation to information sharing around public spaces and the importance of nature for human health and wellbeing.

Learning Objectives

After attending this webinar participants should be able to:
1. To compare the experiences from various cities around the world in terms of access to and contributions from nature in addressing the impact of pandemics
2. To raise awareness on the value of nature in urban life, particularly during pandemics and times of movement restrictions
3. To demonstrate the multiple health and wellbeing benefits for urban communities in rediscovering and reconnecting with nature first hand
4. To showcase mechanisms to stay connected on virtual platforms such as CWN at this time

Speakers

Timothy Blatch, Global Coordinator of CitiesWithNature in ICLEI's Cities Biodiversity Center
Kobie Brand, Chief Executive Officer and Regional Director, ICLEI Africa
Additional Speakers

 

NRPA & US Park & Recreation Agencies Response to COVID-19

 

Date & Time: April 29th, 2020 @ 5:00pm EDT

Register for Webinar: https://iu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsd-ygpzkiHNQIWdoli-uu4NgSFItNdLyp

Register for CEUs HERE!

For assistance contact worldparksacademy@gmail.com

Webinar Description

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) along with leaders of US park & recreation agencies share information on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and processes at the local level for making decisions on park and facilities management and programming.

Learning Objectives

After attending this webinar participants should be able to:

1.  Understand how agencies in the US are responding to the COVID-19
2. Gain insights into the partnership between NRPA and CDC to help inform public health guidance specific to parks and recreation
3. Learn the latest survey data on the status of US park and recreation agencies’ responses to COVID-19

Speakers

Kristine Stratton, President & CEO, NRPA
Allison Colman, Director of Health and Wellness, NRPA
Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent, Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation
Michael Kelly, General Superintendent & CEO, Chicago Park District
Greg A. Weitzel, Director, Department of Parks and Recreation, City of Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Designs on the Future: Parks beyond COVID

 

Date & Time: April 30th, 2020 @ 4:00pm EDT

Register for Webinar: https://iu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYsduCrqjksHdctXRDdyMZ_wCajBIfuTvHb

Register for CEUs HERE!

For assistance contact worldparksacademy@gmail.com

Webinar Description

The final dialogue in World Parks Week will focus on systems transformation for nature, health and cities. Speakers on the frontline of urban regeneration, human-centered design and nature-based solutions will share new perspectives and help shape a call to action for World Urban Parks.

Learning Objectives

After attending this webinar participants should be able to:
• Share the importance of parks for cities’ social fabric and economies
• Explain the pivot potential of city leaders and street champions
• Understand role of parks and resilience – anticipating the next (health) emergency 
• Discuss solidarity and intergenerational equity

Speakers

Jayne Miller, President & CEO, Pittsburgh Parks; Chair, World Urban Parks
Tolu Oni, Professor of Urban Epidemiology, University of Cape Town and Cambridge University
Itai Palti, Founder, Conscious Cities; Director, HUME
Gil Penalosa, Founder and Chair, 8 80 Cities
Clare Shine, VP and Chief Program Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar

 

A Statement from the Chair of World Urban Parks - #NatureNeverCloses

Concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak continue to grip our world. As an organization, World Urban Parks advocates and supports the power of parks, open spaces, and nature as essential resources for health and wellness.  World Urban Parks understands that communities may have questions and concerns about visiting their local parks, trails or open spaces at this time.

The USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has flagged mental health as a top concern associated with the COVID-19 outbreak with the World Health Organization (WHO) addressing mental health considerations amongst the COVID-19 outbreak. We recognize that stay-at-home measures and physical distancing will likely take a toll on our mental health, especially during high-stress and anxiety-producing global public health emergencies. We also know from research documents how important parks, open space and nature are to provide that “nature fix” for human survival – providing opportunities for physical activity and regaining our emotional, psychological and mental balance all of which are critical to reducing stress and improving our physical and mental health.

We believe that many parks and trails, open spaces and nature can continue to be used in a safe manner that allows people to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits these spaces provide. In all instances, we strongly recommend people follow Government directives and guidelines regarding the use of these spaces and recognize that these vary from community to community. *

We encourage local jurisdictions to keep parks and trails and nature and open spaces accessible as long as it is safe to do so.

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