10 Ways to Share your Parks Story
At the Green Pavlova Conference 2017, The Generate Network hosted two workshop presentations all surrounded on “Sharing your Parks Story”. This presentation was a direct response to the feedback being received at parks manager meetings earlier in the year. The themes arising from the meetings were around how to invigorate the parks themselves with higher engagement, and how to see ‘parks manager’ start to be a trendier career path for young people. There was a concern that tertiaries and universities are leaning towards providing sport management courses, with less information provided to upcoming students with the opportunities in park management and beyond.
The participants at the workshop came up with a general goal and their own personal mid-term goal to Share their Parks Story. Participants were asked, “What CRAZY ways can you think of to invigorate parks?” and “How do we communicate to the Parks Manager as a viable career?”
Utilising some of their amazing ideas, here are 10 WAYS TO SHARE YOUR PARKS STORY:
1. Go revisit your high school and share your story in the parks industry
2. Create a Reality TV show: everyone from property managers to border crossing guards have them, why not Park Managers?
3. Take a video of children interviewing Parks Managers about their job (Cute! But check with parents before posting!)
4. Use your phone to take a selfie at your favourite park spot
5. Have a photo competition in your park to get others sharing!
6. Send a few staff members along to Career Expos during the year
7. Use infrastructure or fun large print outs to encourage visitors to take photos at the park and post them
8. Create a ‘Selfie Tour” in your park
9. Connect with your local university
10. Share personal park stories through your organisation internal newsletter
Generate encourages all Councils to get involved sharing their Park Story by using the hashtag “#ParkStoryNZ” and tagging @GenerateNetwork. Even if it is a selfie of you in your element – getting that budget across the line! All the best with your sharing!
Chair – The Generate Network
Board Director – World Urban Parks
15 June 2017
I suspect part of the problem is that there is no “one stop shop” to find out about parks careers in NZ.
NZRA made bit of an effort with the Next Step webpage but unfortunately it seems no training providers have made the effort of coming on board…it's looking rather desolate at the moment.
There are of course many ways to potentially enter the parks sector with a range of qualifications being relevant to different roles. Not many non-parks people seem aware of the possibilities.
Unfortunately entry-level qualifications are provided by a range of training providers and overseen by a number of different industry training organisations (ITOs).
Skills Active, for example, overseas the National Park Ranger Certificate which (on paper at least) looks like a good entry level qualification for park rangers and park officers who want a more practically-orientated course. It could also be an option for people who want to enter the parks sector from another industry. Skills Active also oversees qualifications in sport, aquatics, facilities management, outdoor recreation etc. Their website currently appears to provide career pathway diagrams for several qualifications which are really neat. Unfortunately there isn’t one for Parks!
Lincoln appears to be the only university that offers anything with parks in the title. That’s super if you live in the South Island but not so great if you either live on North Island or work full time… Of course there are many paths that lead to parks and courses other than Parks & Rec. can be of use although the potential to gain practical parks experience may be somewhat limited on other courses.
Perhaps we need to connect-the-dots a bit better so that people realise that you could find your niche in the parks sector with qualifications in a range of fields?
For starters, we could develop some career maps that show potential linkages between particular qualifications and experience and different parks roles. If linked to some real Parks Stories that could be quite effective. I think industry bodies like NZRA and Generate will need to lead the way in this area as individual training providers, universities and ITOs are not going to do it for us because they have their own (often fairly narrow) focus whereas NZRA/Generate may be better placed to take a more holistic approach.