New York knows how to #ShowParksLove!
I Love My Park Day, held the first Saturday in May, attracts thousands of volunteers from across the state to participate in cleanup, improvement, and beautification events at New York State parks and historic sites. In 2019, an estimated 8,000 volunteers participated in 250 park and trail projects across the state, demonstrating New Yorkers’ commitment to protecting and preserving our treasured outdoor spaces. May 2nd, 2020 was scheduled to be the 9th anniversary of I Love My Park Day but the event was regretfully canceled, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. However, Parks & Trails New York decided to channel our enthusiasm surrounding I Love My Park Day into an opportunity to celebrate our parks, trails, and public lands during the entire month of May through a virtual I Love My Park Month.
During May, we called on you - our supporters, members and followers -- to #ShowParksLove in a variety of ways and you did not disappoint! Each week we featured a different theme based on ways to support parks, trails, and public lands-- #LeaveNoTrace, #GiveBack, #StayConnected, and #Share. Each theme was accompanied by a challenge encouraging supporters to take action to support and celebrate parks, and to share these efforts with us for a chance to win a $50 gift card to an outdoor retailer.
We received hundreds of entries throughout the month and recognized four lucky winners with gift cards to Patagonia and L.L. Bean. Thank you to all those who celebrated I Love My Park Month with us by cleaning parks and trails, joining Friends groups and outdoor organizations, volunteering your time, supporting your favorite green spaces online and in-person, and sharing your stories. We also want to extend a special thank you to the dozens of partners and Friends groups that helped spread the word and share content with us over the past few weeks.
Some highlights from the month include--
- Working in tandem with Friends of Knox Farm in Western New York to promote their own I Love My Park Month campaign. Their efforts during May earned them over 20 new members and thousands of dollars in donations. For more information, check out their website
- Gathering a collection of engaging resources by partner organizations including DEC, OPRHP, and Friends groups that help outdoors lovers stay connected to their favorite sites even when they are unable to visit. You can find these resources at our website
- Connecting with thousands of new parks and trails’ admirers on social media (if you are not following us yet, please do so and join the conversation!)
Thank you to our sponsors whose generous support made I Love My Park Month possible. Their continued commitment to protecting our parks, trails, and public lands is incredibly valuable.
As I Love My Park Month comes to an end, let's keep parks, trails, and public lands in the forefront of our minds all year to ensure that these treasured outdoor spaces remain available, enjoyable and safe for everyone. Together, we can #ShowParksLove every day of the year.
Thank you for continuing to make a difference in your community. We encourage you to continue using #ParksPledge and #ShowParksLove to share your efforts online-- we promise they do not go unnoticed. If you have yet to take the #ParksPledge, go to www.ptny.org/pledge and pledge to keep parks and trails open and safe for everyone by following a few simple guidelines.
We look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of I Love My Park Day with you next year, May 1, 2021. It will be our best celebration of outdoor spaces yet!