July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40

Flint:
W
By Vitisia Paynich
hen it comes to adversity, the people of Flint, Michigan,
have experienced more than their fair share. From a devastating
economic downturn and crippling unemployment
triggered by the Great Recession in 2008, to the city's ongoing
lead water crisis that began in 2014, Flint residents have endured
enough setbacks for five lifetimes.
However, a group of resilient community
members want to change the
narrative and the national conversation
around the " Vehicle City. " They
want to squelch years of excoriating
national headlines along with an
unwanted negative stigma often attributed
to City of Flint. They want
the rest of the country to see what
they and their families, friends and
neighbors see every day - that they
are " Flint strong. "
Thanks to
the
state's Genesee
County Parks and Recreation Commission
(Genesee County Parks),
they are telling their personal stories
one Flint park at a time.
The Writing on the Wall
In 2003, the Flint Parks and Recreation
Department had a little
more than 97 full-time equivalents
(FTEs) on staff, but once the recession
hit, park and recreation leaders
began to see the writing on the wall.
Karen West, the director and lead
consultant
for
the Keep Genesee
County Beautiful (KGCB) program
40 Parks & Recreation | JULY 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
at the time, was among those who
foresaw the city's eventual inability to
care for Flint's parks and public spaces.
Thus, West developed a framework
to replace the dwindling Flint
Parks and Recreation, which led to
KGCB signing an agreement with
the city whereby the county would
assist Flint parks. This agreement
paved the way for a pilot program
funded by the Ruth Mott Foundation,
called Adopt a Park, which
enabled Flint volunteers to perform
basic maintenance work and upkeep.
" Adopt a Park was created as a
stop-gap measure to figure out how
to deal with public space that's not
being maintained by the city, " explains
Nancy Edwards, recreation
programs and grants officer and
current director of KGCB.
By 2013, the entire park and
recreation
department
consisted
of only six FTEs: two people
handling administration and four
tasked with park maintenance and
facilities duties. In 2014, the Flint
Parks and Recreation Department
officially disbanded.
Edwards says the park and recreation
responsibilities essentially
rolled into the city's Department of
Planning and Development. " There
was one planner who was funded
about a quarter time to be the point
person for anything park related, "
she recalls. This meant Adopt a Park
program volunteers became the primary
stewards of the city's parks.
The KGCB program became part
of Genesee County Parks in 2016.
Genesee County Parks, the largest
county park system in Michigan,
oversees more than 11,000 acres of
county park property.
An Evolving Partnership
Agreement
Genesee County Parks established
a partnership agreement " to maintain
some particular park properties
that were associated with the city's
natural resources, " says Edwards.
The city's park system features 70
parks comprising 1,881 acres.
" This
partnership
agreement
started with us maintaining four
specific parks: Flint Park Lake,
Thread Lake, McKinley Park and
Max Brandon Park, " she explains.
Over the past eight years, the partnership
agreement has expanded to
include other park property projects.
A Portrait
of Resilience
Michiganders show what it means to rise up for parks and recreation

July 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2022 - Parks & Recreation

July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
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
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com