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Protect Parks from Vandalism

Protect Parks from Vandalism

Protect parks from vandalism because obesity is one of the major leading causes of death in the U.S. And even if it doesn’t lead directly to death, being overweight has multiple and very serious long-term consequences, among them are: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and more. Genetics plays a role in obesity, but lifestyle is usually the more contributing factor.

Did you know that children in Massachusetts have gained an average of 10lbs since the coronavirus outbreak? Schools, sports, park activities and other group physical activities have been canceled since March, and the United States is paying the toll. Children of the East Coast alone have gained an average of 7lbs. Instead of playing outside, children have fallen back on technology for entertainment. This goes to show us how important parks are.

Parks are essential for the health of children. Where adults rely on a scheduled exercise regimen for fitness, children simply rely on having fun. Children likely burn more calories playing hide-and-seek at a playground after school than adults do in a workout class. Unfortunately, graffiti and vandalism have increased at the parks during Covid.  That means, when Covid no longer prevents playing at the parks, the graffiti and vandalism will keep the parks off limits.

When playgrounds are destroyed by vandalism, they become unusable to children and they are at a higher risk of obesity. Cities must protect their parks from vandalism so that children can remain safe and healthy. Cities can stop vandalism before it happens by investing in cameras that deter crime from occurring. When the crime is prevented, parks can be preserved, and children can enjoy playing at the park and maintaining their physical health.

Protect your parks from vandalism.

#stopvandalism #novandalism #protectparks

Parks are Essential to our Health

Parks are Essential to our Health

During this challenging pandemic, health is more important than ever. When the immune system is down, it becomes difficult to fight off viruses and infections. When your body is not as prime as it could be, mental health also suffers. Mental and physical health are directly related: mental health impacts physical health and vice versa.

Nature is imperative to our health. For example, we need vitamin D for both our physical and emotional health. Historically, the public park was created with mental health in mind. Parks encourage physical activity and people who live close to parks are more prone to use them for exercise. Without scenic recreational areas, people are more likely to suffer from obesity and depression. Beauty is necessary for the public health. 

We take nature and aesthetics for granted. We take advantage of pristine parks and do not think about the care and effort that is put into keeping it desirable to communities. We do not think about the communities that cannot afford to do what it takes to keep parks free of litter and vandalism. It takes work to keep parks aesthetically appealing and free from graffiti and vandalism. For example, security guards and  anti-vandalism cameras may be a necessary asset to your park for the safety and health of your city. Also, signs reminding the public that the park is meant for everyone. Harming parks harms the entire community. 

We need to keep our parks clean and safe for our health and restore our communities to their original glory.

#Parks4All, #ParksAndRecreation, #WeAreParkAndRec, #NoVandalism #ProtectParks

Keep Vandalism Out of Parks

Keep Vandalism Out of Parks

Keep Vandalism Out of Parks

Play is essential for the good health of all children.  All communities need parks where play is an important part in the design of the park.  Communities need to provide a safe quality area for children to develop.   One assessment of the quality of a park is the “Playable Space Quality Assessment Tool” (PSQAT).  The PSQAT evaluates three aspects of a park, Location, Play Value and Care and Maintenance.

The location involves using the natural aspects of the area to be accessible to the entire community needs.  The Play Value must have a variety of options for children to explore and imagine.  The Care and Maintenance is not only the visual care of the park, which is important, but also the safety of the park.

Even though most parks are closed to the public during the COVID-19, graffiti and vandalism is occurring at the parks.  The cherished parks, where a budget of tears and sweat were used to create, are being manhandled and misused.  When the stay at home orders are lifted the parks need to be ready.  Rather than clean up after the vandalism has occurred – tools, like vandalism cameras, are available to maintain the dignity and safety of the park and stop criminal behavior before it begins. Most likely the unwanted behavior is executed by young teens frustrated with the restrictions placed upon them. But it could also be gang activity.  Any suggestion of gang activity will make the park unsafe for the community.  This is a challenging time for parks and recreation- make sure your department has the right tools.

#ParksandRec  #novandalism

Park Vandalism Hurts

Park Vandalism Hurts

Park Vandalism Hurts

Did you know one of the first parks built on public lands for public use was between 61 and 55 BCE? The Porticus Pompeiana, one of Ancient Rome’s first public parks was created with pools, fountains and plants of all kinds and was intended to be a space for people to walk, relax and enjoy leisure activities.  Today our public parks are created with the same mindset and to help bring communities and families together. Unfortunately, parks have become the victims of nuisance crimes such as: illegal dumping, theft, and especially vandalism.

Vandalism in the parks can take on many forms such as graffiti and the destruction of public property.  The least costly wreckage is the destruction of signs, but some more costly targets are streetlights, pavilions and public bathrooms, which can be very costly to repair.  Unfortunately, parks are a public attraction for vandalism.

Park Vandals are at times younger people who are bored and looking for mischief.  However, when vandalism occurs in parks, it is highly related to gangs within the community who are responsible for this crime. Gangs use graffiti to tag “their property” and to make rival gangs and the community aware of their “ownership”.  Park Officials who spend many hours in the planning and care for their parks need to take back the parks, because if the destruction either in the form of graffiti or vandalism remains long, it empowers the gangs to further violence.  The community, the intended recipients of the park, then becomes fearful to even walk close to the park.    

What does it mean to take back the park? To take back the park means to show the gangs that the park is not theirs, it is owned by the community.   

How to Prevent Park Vandalism: