July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41

to figure out the names of them.
I had to download an app on my
phone because every time he sees
a flower or a bush or a berry, he
wants to know the name of it. So
now, I'll take a picture of whatever
it is, and we read about it...
talk about it, and he has a smile
on his face. [He] then runs off to
check out something else. Whenever
a sensory mechanism is not
triggered and he's able to find enjoyment,
that's the sweet spot. "
Phommavong is thankful for the
staff at Cosumnes CSD, and part
of the reason his family moved to
Elk Grove is because of the services
they provide and spaces they
manage that enrich the lives of people
in the community - especially
the lives of his family members. In
fact, he says his family would likely
look for a different city to live
in if it weren't for the parks in Elk
Grove being so accessible.
" When we talk about finding a
bearing in life, I think about these
parks and being away from our
busy lives, being away from the
stress and all the other challenges,
so we can decompress and just be
in that moment. Just to enjoy it.
Just to be able to sit down and refocus
on the things that matter most
- your kids, your family and nature.
And the fact that my son isn't
bolting and running away from
danger is, in itself, such a rewarding
thing to see. "
For the Community,
by the Community
The staff at Cosumnes CSD that
Phommavong and his family are so
thankful for are not just park and
recreation professionals who work
for the district, they're also members
of the community. They have
their own memories and reasons
why they love the parks in their
community. For Cosumnes CSD's
Brinkman, her favorite memory is
of a pickup soccer game on Sundays.
The game was made up of
community
members, neighbors
and friends from the ages of 7 to
70. There were no referees and they
didn't keep score - it was just an
opportunity to bring people together
who may not normally have the
chance to connect.
" It was just a stress reliever from
working a hard week..., " says
Brinkman. " You would get to see
friends and connect with people.
Babies were born, people got married,
we lost loved ones and all this
other stuff that you go through.
And we went through those things
with that little group - and we
were only brought together because
of that park and that pickup
soccer game. "
Pattenaude grew up visiting Cosumnes
CSD parks with his grandmother,
and now enjoys spending
time in the same parks he grew up
in with his own children.
" It's just so fun to be able to take
your family there, and now working
at CSD, it's like it's come full
circle. Now I get to promote these
parks to the community. I get to
share the experience of parks with
other people - it's just amazing, "
says Pattenaude.
For Brinkman and Pattenaude,
working at the district also comes
with the benefit of building relationships
with people in the community
As
for Khuan, he'll have a lasting
memory in the form of a valley oak
tree he planted at an event in one
of Cosumnes CSD's parks. His father's
favorite memory of that event
was seeing him play with the earthworms
when they were digging to
plant the tree. " Usually, because of
his sensory processing disorder, he
These experiences allow him to
just be a kid - curious, excited
and eager to play. They allow
him the comfort of not feeling
like he's being chased by a tiger.
doesn't like to touch anything icky
or slimy, but this one particular
instance didn't bother him. I was
thinking to myself, 'that's what I
used to do as a child!' It was great
to see. He came home and his fingers
were all covered with dirt and
we planted two trees. "
For Phommavong, it's all about
like David and Khuan
Phommavong. " This is why we
do what we do, " says Brinkman.
" These parks are the Cosumnes
CSD parks, but really they're not
- they're the community's parks
and we're just the
stewards of
them. So, it's just amazing to see
them in action and [it] gives you a
really strong sense of pride. "
quality of life for his son. The experiences
in Cosumnes CSD's parks
allow Khuan to be free of some of
the pain that comes with ASD and
sensory processing disorder. These
experiences allow him to just be a
kid - curious, excited and eager to
play. They allow him the comfort
of not feeling like he's being chased
by a tiger. Because after all, how
often do we get to enjoy life when
we're being chased by a tiger?
To hear more from Phommavong,
Brinkman and Pattenaude, tune
in to the July bonus episode of
Open Space Radio at nrpa.org/
July2021BonusEpisode. To learn more
about Park and Recreation Month
and read/hear more stories about the
impact of parks and recreation on our
communities, visit nrpa.org/July.
Cort Jones is NRPA's Manager of Strategic
Communications (cjones@nrpa.org).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | JULY 2 0 2 1
| Parks & Recreation
41
http://www.nrpa.org/july2021bonusepisode http://www.nrpa.org/july2021bonusepisode http://www.nrpa.org/July

July 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2021 - Parks & Recreation

July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
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July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
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July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
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July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
July 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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