Today is good news for fans of parks in Canada. More specifically this good news is brought to you by two amazing people I personally know.
While living in Basingstoke, England, my brother, Aneez would rave about this community initiative that was all the rage called parkrun. He described it as a weekly 5km fun run that takes place in local parks. It’s not a race but more of a community gathering centered around running.
After weeks (probably months) of work Aneez announced that parkrun was now coming to Whitby (where Aneez now lives).
Today the little independent Toronto-based charity that my wife, Minaz, works for officially goes national. In Calgary, Park People is currently hosting the Heart Of The City Conference (Shaping The Future Of City Parks In Canada). I describe Park People as an organization that works with local neighbourhoods and helps the people there to animate and use their parks in an inclusive way.
Why are these two events important? Well, to me it’s obvious. Parks are public spaces. Like libraries and community centres. They are places for friends and family to gather and enjoy. For parents and kids to enjoy a summer afternoon in. For kids to hangout and play tag in. For picnics and parties. For independent arts and bazaar sales. For Scout meetings and community-built outdoor ice rinks. For running and parkour. Parks are the places where we can find the heartbeat of a community and neighbourhood. They are worth building, cleaning, animating, using and growing. Neighbourhoods without parks are not neighbourhoods.
Congrats to Minaz, Aneez, parkrun Canada and Park People!