Claire Weitnauer: Parks and Sustainability

Claire is the Communications and Development Intern with Park Pride this summer, and will soon be transitioning into her role as the Communications Fellow! Claire grew up in Decatur, Georgia and graduated from Davidson College where she majored in Psychology and minored in Environmental Studies.

“Quality parks are an investment in the sustainability of communities.” – Claire Weitnauer


Outside of work, Claire enjoys crafting, listening to show tunes, and spending time with her Westie pup, Maggie.

We sat down with Claire to pick her brain on all things parks:

Why are parks important?

Parks are the beating hearts of communities. They offer a neutral ground for people of all walks of life to meet, commune, and grow in nature. I also believe parks are essential for happiness in an urban setting; a city without parks would be a dismal place to live.

How do you see communities connected to parks? What role does each play for the other?

Parks level the differences between people, and provide a space for neighbors to evolve from a group of individuals into a community, a collective. And in turn, communities provide care and attention to parks so that those in the future can benefit as much as those in the present. Quality parks are an investment in the sustainability of communities.

How are parks important for the environment?

Honestly, if you gave me a week I would still have things to say about parks and the environment! Parks work tirelessly, silently every day to improve our environment and mitigate the negative effects of climate change. Parks provide a break from the heat island effect in cities, as the trees and vegetation work to cool the surrounding area while also absorbing and storing carbon from the air. Green infrastructure manages dangerous floodwaters and helps clean water returning to our watersheds and streams. Parks also serve as habitat and refuges for urban wildlife.

What’s been your favorite aspect of working for Park Pride?

I’ve loved having the opportunity to experience areas of the city I haven’t been to before, and I feel inspired by the amount of community activism centered around parks and their impact on neighborhoods. The people here are pretty great as well!

And now for fun:  If you woke up one morning and found yourself inside of a movie, what movie would you join?

The world of Harry Potter, for obvious reasons. Or a Studio Ghibli film because in those worlds even the most simple elements of life are beautiful.

What’s your favorite era of fashion?

70’s for sure. I’ve never met a jumpsuit I didn’t like.


Sounds groovy! Welcome to the team, Claire!

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