Mariaelena Navarro: Greenspaces and Community

Mariaelena is the Communications and Development Intern with Park Pride this fall! Mariaelena grew up in Brunswick, Georgia and is a currently studying English at Georgia State University.

“The importance of greenspaces in cities is evident in the community building and environmental impact of parks.” – Mariaelena Navarro

Outside of Park Pride, Mariaelena enjoys eating delicious food, reading Stephen King novels, and attempting to learn how to knit.

We sat down with Mariaelena to get her thoughts on parks, greenspaces and the environment:

Why are parks important?

Parks are important because it gives communities a place to gather and build community. Not only that, but the greenery is good for your health. Especially in cities, greenspaces are a break from the busy urban designs of concrete and asphalt. Being able to go to a park and unplug is one of the most important things.

Park Pride’s mission is “to engage communities to activate the power of parks.” In what ways are parks powerful?

Since parks are communal spaces, there’s special meaning in being able to have a space to be yours as a community. The spot that your neighbor’s kid plays soccer can be the same spot where you have a picnic. The ability to have something like that available to you is a special thing. The power of parks is the power to bring people together.

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

My favorite part is being able to go out into a community and seeing how much people care about greenspaces.

Now for some fun questions, what’s your favorite Harry Potter movie?

I’m so glad you asked, because I’m a huge fan of J.K. Rowling. I’ve actually been meaning to have a Harry Potter marathon since the holidays are coming. My favorite is definitely the first movie because it’s a classic.

Pancakes or waffles?

Wow, that’s a hard one. I’d have to say waffles.


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