“I’m bored” is a rallying cry in our home and once it has been uttered, my children expect my husband and I to band together to find the perfect activity to save them from a tedious afternoon of doing nothing. Often our suggestions elicit lukewarm reactions — finger painting, coloring, looking at books — but there is one boredom buster our children always take us up on: a trip to our local park.
Anders and Danica live for the chance to swing, jump, climb, and shout, free from the rules that govern them indoors. As their mother, I love watching them experience this simple form of joy while burning off some extra energy, but it is so much more than that.
I have measured their lives in visits to the park. They began as most children do, on the baby swing, a seat I placed them in hesitantly at first. I swung them slow as infants, but as they grew, their clapping hands and pumping legs let me know they were ready to go higher.
Over the years I have watched as Anders time and time again climbed the rungs of the ladder to the monkey bars and stood on tip toe, arm outstretched in hopes of being tall enough to grab on and swing from bar to bar. With each visit the gap between fingertip and metal has closed, and recently I watched as he triumphantly wrapped a hand around one and accepted a new challenge. So far, his trip across those bars have required assistance, but I know it is only a matter of time before he checks another playground milestone off his list.
This is why I love our park, the Clayton Community Park in Clayton, North Carolina, and why I was excited to hear about a program that could help fund it. The America Is Your Park campaign was founded by the folks at Coca-Cola three years ago. It is an initiative that empowers members of a community to band together in order to have their local park declared “America’s Favorite Park.”
The top winner of the program receives a $100,000 recreation grant to help improve their park. Second and third prize winners receive grants of $50,000 and $25,000.
If taking your children to the park is one of your family’s favorite pastimes as well, you may be wondering how you can get your park in the running. Entering is simple. The first step is to visit Live Positively to locate your park using the interactive map and cast your vote. But don’t stop there! Step two is encouraging others in your community to do the same. You can easily spread the word by sharing your vote with friends using twitter and Facebook.
Last year, over 13 million votes were cast by park supporters. So working together as a community to campaign for your park is the best way to ensure your park takes home the grand prize.
Which favorite park will you be casting your vote for this year?
This is sponsored content from Babble and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Coca-Cola. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Only legal residents of the 50 U.S. (and D.C.) who are at least 13 years old and reside within the U.S. at the time of participation are eligible to vote for a Park. Participate on behalf of a Park by: July 15, 2012. The 3 most popular Parks will be offered a grant and there will be 1 Wild Card drawing at the end of the Contest to award an additional grant. To participate, for Official Rules, and complete details including grant descriptions, visit www.LivePositively.com/parks. Void where prohibited. Click here to see more of the discussion.