12 Aug Green Spaces don’t just happen
Green spaces are so important, natural landscapes are vital to preserving regional ecosystems amid growing cities. Parks and open spaces help create human and energy efficient cities, and make compact living more attractive and viable. Forests, meadows and wetlands protect water, provide habitat for wildlife and support human health and recreation.
Communities that take the time and care to protect their open spaces as natural areas usually find that their open spaces are taking care of them in so many important ways.
But they don’t just happen.
Many of us don’t realise the constant attention and maintenance that goes into keeping our spaces green and accessible, continually battling against vandalism, climate change and low funding. Steps are constantly being taken by councils, wildlife trusts and conservation societies to fund and keep our open spaces full of life and health.
A vital part of all this is the wayfinding and interpretation. If we make it attractive and informative enough, the local community will increasingly start to take ownership of ‘their’ precious asset and become a vital part of protecting it for future generations.
Some ideas for increasing the community engagement include:
- Creating trails. Connect your green space by making walking, running or nature trails. Add distances so even the most reluctant fitness seeker gets a sense of fulfilment! Nature trails can have wildlife images, rubbing plaques, questions and answers (on alternate signs).
- Telling the story. Many of our parks have interesting histories which may not be widely known. Use interpretation and graphic design to show how the park has developed over the years and
- Developing social spaces. Careful sighting of benches will draw visitors to the park and encourage them to take the time to enjoy the surroundings.
A well thought-out and implemented wayfinding and interpretation scheme will undoubtedly raise the image of the park and rather than being taken for granted it will start to become a living resource for now, and for our future generations.
Let’s make our green spaces better than ever, and encourage others to appreciate these irreplaceable assets, and lastly offer a hearty thanks to the Rangers and volunteers whose unsung work makes such a difference to our lives!