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Centre Region Park Partners
An Outreach of the Centre Region Gifts-For-Parks Program
Approved by the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Board, 1998.

Updated 20 Oct 2011

 

Purpose

            The Centre Region Gifts-For-Parks program is an initiative by Centre Region Parks & Recreation (CRPR) that encourages public and private groups to assist with various improvements to municipal park areas. That assistance has taken the form of donations of funds for park equipment and fixtures, the purchase of shade trees through the popular Remembrance Tree Program, or by providing volunteer or in-kind services and labor for park maintenance or project development. Indeed, volunteer projects have provided many valuable improvements to municipal parks over the years (such as the United Way Day of Caring, the Park Partner Day each April, and other group projects).

              Park Partners is designed as the “adopt-a-park” component of the Gifts-For-Parks program; it encourages and promotes longer-term volunteer support and efforts at a selected park or pool site. Working with CRPR staff, groups (businesses, families, churches, and community groups) can select an entire site, or a designated section or feature of a larger site, for a two-year period. An agreement is then completed with regard to program participation.

            At a minimum, groups are asked to plan, execute, and report on three organized group work-efforts per year at the selected site, with the primary interest of Spring, early-Summer, and Fall. The work-efforts may coincide with community-wide volunteer events such as the Park Partner Day in April or the Day of Caring in October. A work-effort must consist of at least 4 consecutive hours. Of course, group members would also be encouraged to visit the park for impromptu spruce-ups as needed between workdays.

            During the two-year period, the Park Partners group agrees to work with CRPR staff to help keep their parksite clean, safe, and attractive. Depending on the site, group responsibilities may include:
• picking up litter, debris, and downed branches,
• maintaining paths and trails (such as pruning the sides or spreading woodchips),
• maintaining planting beds, raking leaves, and pulling weeds,
• removing graffiti,
• assisting with any special program events held at that parksite.
• working on any special projects that are identified in cooperation with CRPR staff, such as painting, clearing new trails, spreading wood mulch under play equipment, removing staples from picnic tables, etc.

Park Partners are also asked to identify and promptly report any safety hazards to CRPR staff.

Partner Recognition

• A sign will be posted at the selected parksite which indicates the name of the group involved with the site. The sign will be furnished and maintained by CRPR during the two-year partner period.

• CRPR expects to publicize in the fall issue of the seasonal Active Guide the groups and sites currently enrolled in the Park Partners program.

• CRPR will waive the reservation fee for any picnic pavilions used by the Park Partners group the day of a scheduled work-effort (subject to previously-scheduled reservations by other groups. It would be important to establish the workday dates early each year, before reservations were made for other park uses.)

• Each participating Park Partners group will be awarded a Certificate of Appreciation at the successful conclusion of the two-year period.

Requirements

            Time and effort! It’s that easy. No fee is required to join the program. Each group should designate one contact person for all coordination with CRPR. Group representatives must first complete a Park Partners Agreement, which outlines important details for both the group and CRPR. Participants must supply their own transportation to the site, attend safety programs when offered, and be at least 16 years old or be supervised by adults. Groups must agree to abide by all park rules and regulations during their work projects.

            CRPR will provide trash bags as needed and pick up full bags of trash after a project day. Since communication is the keystone of successful cooperative endeavors, all group projects involving anything other than routine maintenance must be approved in advance by CRPR staff. The use of all power tools and engine-powered equipment by volunteers is prohibited on park lands without the express authorization of the Parks Supervisor or the Director of Parks & Recreation. With proper advance planning, CRPR will be able to provide most of the materials, supplies, and hand tools needed for all routine projects and approved special projects. It may not be possible to provide on-site staff support during all project days, so planning ahead is very important. Please provide at least 3 weeks advance notice to the CRPR Office regarding your requested Group Work Day - to assure that the park facilities, staff, tools and materials are available.

Accidents and Injuries

            SAFETY for volunteers, park visitors, and staff remains an important component of planning and performing every project in a public park. The Centre Region Council of Governments and the municipalities that own each parksite do not offer medical insurance coverage to volunteers or to their families. In the event of an injury to a volunteer, all costs, including any deductible, are the responsibility of the volunteer. If a volunteer accidently injures a park visitor (who is not a project volunteer) or damages their property, COG liability insurance will be responsible for the injury or damage unless the accident involves a volunteer’s personal motor vehicle. If you have an accident with your vehicle while volunteering, your personal insurance provides primary coverage as stipulated by state law. No COG coverage is available for damages to your personal vehicle. It is important that each volunteer be aware of these facts before any work is started, and that ALL injuries be documented and reported to CRPR staff. It is strongly recommended that each group have a first aid kit at hand during workday projects. Also, be aware of how to contact local emergency services in case of an injury.

Interested in becoming a Park Partner ?

            This is a great opportunity for family or group involvement. All types of organizations can work together to improve municipal parks in the Centre Region. The following groups are eligible to become a Park Partners:

• small and large businesses • service groups
• scout troops • school groups
• activity and youth groups • church groups
• environmental groups  • university groups
• fraternities and sororities • senior citizen groups
• neighborhood associations • family groups

All participants must be at least 16 years old or be supervised by adults.

Parksite Selection

            Requests for specific areas are handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Every attempt will be made to match volunteer groups with their first choice. However, they may sometimes have to consider an alternate site. Those sites listed on the PARKS ROSTER page and maintained by CRPR have been designated as “regionally-operated parks” and are eligible for consideration as potential Park Partners sites

The CRPR Authority is a publicly-funded, municipal agency serving 5 municipalities since 1966. The Authority also maintains 501c3 status.
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The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
2643 Gateway Drive #1, State College, PA. USA 16801   (814)231-3071   Fax 814.235.7832