Organizing a project to beautify the community park is an awesome way to give back. Aside from cleaning the park, a community project brings people closer together. However, a cleanup project for your park is not as easy as it seems. You need to plan accordingly for it to be a success. From choosing a project to sourcing donations, you’re going to have a lot on your plate. Just keep in mind that everything will surely pay off in the end.
To help you, here are some effective tips so your cleanup project will have a significant impact both to the park and the entire community.
1. Choose a Project Ideal for the Community
When choosing a project, you must pay attention to what the park needs. Your goal is to fix the problem and inspire people to participate. There are several problems a park may have. Some examples are:
- Tree planting
- Cleaning up trash and recycling
- Trimming of bushes
- Pond cleanups
Select a project that is not attended by local agencies. Are there overgrown bushes? Does the park need landscaping? Is the pond dirty? Are there too many trash? Does the playground equipment new painting? Does the park need more plants and flowers?
These are excellent questions that will help you determine which project you need to start with. After choosing, make sure to contact authorities for projects that require special permission. An example is repainting playground equipment.
2. Come Up With a Comprehensive Plan
When you already have a project, you need to plan it out carefully. This is to make sure that everything goes smoothly and according to your budget and resources. Some pieces of advice on how to plan out your project:
- The target date
- How many volunteers you’re going to need
- Meeting location (there must be restrooms available)
- Outline of the things needed to be done before the day of the project
- Supplies you’re going to need for the project
- List of special permissions – licenses and permits required for the project
- Schedule of activities on the day of the project
- Post-event programs
3. Select a Well-dedicated Leader
You’re going to need a project coordinator who is dedicated to the project. This will make a huge difference during the entire planning and the implementation of the project itself. You can be the project coordinator, but you can assign someone else if you are too busy. This is to prevent you and others from missing out on important stuff.
4. Look for Volunteers
Once you have assigned a project coordinator, it’s time to look for happy volunteers. It’s better if you start recruiting one month (or more) before the cleanup project. This gives you enough time to find the needed numbers of volunteers and assign them to their respective groups. Here are some ways on how you can reach people to participate:
- Tell your family, friends, neighbors, local businesses, community members, churches, and other local organizations regarding your cleanup project.
- Promote your project on your social media accounts and encourage people to share it as well.
- Distribute flyers that contain the important details of your project.
- Ask organizations in your neighborhood to promote your event through newsletters.
5. Request for Supply Donations
It’s ideal to host a cleanup project by limiting your budget as much as possible. This is to make sure that you have enough resources for the entire event. You can request for donations from your neighborhood. List everything you need and determine the budget for each. You can also ask local businesses for funding. A good place where you can start is a hardware store.
For the tools you’re going to need, you can ask from your community if they can let you borrow. Park maintenance equipment, such as a chainsaw, wheelbarrow, and lawnmower are quite expensive. So, it’s better to borrow these. Other supplies that you will need are trash bags, shovels, gloves, rakes, paint, paintbrushes, and other gardening tools and materials.
A small wood chipper will also come in handy. Since it’s a cleanup project, everything must be disposed of properly. When cleaning a park, it’s most likely going to involve cutting overgrown trees and trimming plants. The branches and leaves may be fed to a wood chipper for proper disposal. Moreover, wood chips and mixed leaves may also be used for other purposes, such as turning them into mulch. This material is beneficial for making plants healthy.
If your neighbors don’t have this equipment, you can ask local stores and agencies if they have one. Just make sure it is made from trusted wood chipper manufacturers to ensure the safety of the people operating it.
6. Give Rewards to Volunteers
During the event, make sure that you have already assigned tasks to volunteers. This is to keep everything running smoothly and to make the event an overall success. After the event, it’s recommended that you give rewards to your volunteers. A great idea is providing them snacks while everyone rests after the cleanup. Another great idea is giving them t-shirts that they can use if they decide to volunteer again. This is an excellent way to encourage them to participate again for your coming projects.