1,200 Volunteers, 43 Parks: It's Your Park Day 2017
Over 1,200 people across Chicago participated in It's Your Park Day 2017. Volunteers mulched trees, cleaned up trash, and gardened. Some Park Advisory Councils (PACs) hosted concerts, community bike rides, and barbecues.
Chicago's diverse communities make our city unique. It's Your Park Day 2017 was a chance for people to gather and celebrate each other. People connected with their neighbors in new ways and PACs recruited new members. It's Your Park Day was the first community event for many PACs, like the Hadiya Pendleton PAC featured below, and helped facilitate a culture of community-led events in the parks.
The involvement of Chicago businesses made It's Your Park Day special. The Home Depot generously provided the supplies to all parks and volunteers at 6 different parks. Home Depot Employee Melissa Clark said,
"Home Depot has a commitment to serving and servicing our community. We believe in neighbors and associates giving their time to improve the community as well as giving back. IYPD is a perfect way of allowing each of us to give back.
The most memorable part of the day was watching everyone work together to achieve a goal as a team. Seeing the associates and community come together was amazing, and witnessing the outcome of the beautification process is always worth every minute of volunteering. The community and its children are the future of Chicago!"
Neighborhoods.com, a Chicago based real estate tech company, brought volunteers to Welles Park. They said, “We’re always looking for ways to give back in our local neighborhoods as well as other neighborhoods around the country, and what better way to help a neighborhood than by improving its parks?”
One of their Neighborhood Managers who was in attendance, Karl Schuster, said this was most memorable for him: "Welles Park is my neighborhood park, so for me it was being able to talk to people and see how people use and value the park in different ways. It was also nice to know there's a group of neighbors dedicated to not only maintaining but constantly improving the park."
The High Brew Coffee team donated coffee to all 43 parks, and brought volunteers to Wicker Park. The coffee kept people energized all day and the volunteers helped clear dandelions and plant new flowers for the summer. Rikki Kasperski, High Brew’s Team Leader, said: "In 2017, High Brew Coffee started the initiative 'For Those Who Do Good' to give back to our communities. It was amazing rallying our whole Chicago team to come together with our families to help out a park that is in our backyards. I loved seeing the team roll up their sleves and get their hands dirty (literally)!"