Attendees enjoying Parks Alive event

Parks Alive returned this summer as a way for friends, family and neighbors to gather and enjoy the green spaces in their neighborhoods. Parks Alive launched in 2022 as a collaboration between City departments, non-profits, community-serving organizations, local vendors and the neighborhoods across Madison that they call home.

Held in nine parks across the city from June through August, Parks Alive events are a chance for residents to visit their neighborhood green spaces, listen to music, participate in fun, family-friendly activities, enjoy a snack and get to know their neighbors. Twenty-eight events hosting more than 3,000 residents engaged Madisonians young and old. The program was made possible by partnership with 40 local organizations and nonprofits that provided activities including library card signups, opportunities to make art, STEM activities with UW Madison Science students, youth-led activities, basketball tournaments and pickup games, disc golf with Park Rangers, yoga, bike riding, jump rope and more.

Attendees enjoying Parks Alive eventIn addition to being fun, neighborhood-centered events, Parks Alive has been a great collaboration between the public and private sector, bringing in local vendors, promoting local resources for families and introducing residents to others thriving in their neighborhoods.  Similar to last year, events planned for 2023 varied by location and day but all featured food carts to provide a free snack, DJs and community building leisure activities.

One goal of Parks Alive is to build strong neighborhoods by enhancing opportunities for residents to get to know one another. Building and sustaining strong neighborhoods is an essential component of public safety: indeed, “fostering strong neighborhoods” is an explicit goal of Madison and Dane County’s Roadmap for healthier, safer communities. The roadmap recommends supporting and increasing opportunities to empower communities by bringing together residents and community stakeholders – including government – to build trust, develop strong working relationships and support resident leadership in building a foundation for addressing systemic challenges in neighborhoods. Parks Alive is a great example of that principle in action.Attendees enjoying Parks Alive event

I hope you were able to spend some time this summer utilizing one of the many shared resources we all love and enjoy in Madison - our parks!

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