Park Pride is pleased to introduce you to the greenest member of the team, our new Director of Community Building, Tina Arnold!
“Parks are instigators of wonder for young and old and those discoveries help connect us to each other and our environment.” ~ Tina Arnold
As the Director of Community Building, Tina will oversee the Friends of the Park Program, the Volunteer Program, and be the primary contact for Friends groups in the City of Atlanta (DeKalb, Brookhaven and Tucker Friends groups, Kayla Altland, email@example.com, is still your primary contact!). Within her role, she will promote, educate, and advocate for parks, and foster a culture of stewardship and support among Friends of the Park groups across the city.
Tina comes to Park Pride with an extensive background in community organizing. Previously the Executive Director of Sustainable Lakewood, a nonprofit in Atlanta’s NPU Y focused on environmentally-responsible community restoration, Tina has 13 years of experience working with community members, volunteer groups, and city officials. Tina has also served as head of the Friends of South Bend Park.
When she isn’t attending community meetings, facilitating workshops, or rallying park enthusiasts, Tina loves hiking in the wilderness areas, meditating by the rivers, and swinging in the swings like a little kid!
Learn more about Tina through our short interview below.
Why are parks important?
Parks greatly contribute to our quality of life. They give us clean air to breathe by means of the filtering ability of trees. They help people live healthier, more active lives by providing a place to enjoy natural exposure to the sun’s vitamin D filled rays, to engage in healthy play, to connect to wildlife, wilderness, and the life giving earth itself. Parks offer a temporary disconnection from societal pressures, manufactured air, and harmful EMFs (electromagnetic forces). Most importantly, parks turn strangers into friends through their ability to bring people together in a relaxed and open atmosphere.
Park Pride’s mission is “to engage communities to activate the power of parks.” In what ways are parks powerful?
Parks give people opportunities to not only meet new people, gather for events, and engage in recreational sports together, but they also give people reasons to connect to nature.
Parks are not one dimensional; they are not just places with grass and benches. They are places with a variety of trees, grasses, shrubs, rocks, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, rivers and lakes, birds and animals, gardens, and people. They are places to discover the dimensions of life, species of wilderness and wildlife local to your region, and the effects invasive plants have on the local ecology.
Parks are instigators of wonder for young and old and those discoveries help connect us to each other and our environment.
How does a great park impact its community?
Great parks connect people to each other. Whether it be for organized sports, individual play, or spontaneous activities, parks give people positive reasons to come together or spend needed time alone in a healthy/restorative environment.
Parks are as nourishing to the body as the food we eat, and communities with great parks are home to more healthy, active people. Food alone does not bring good health…clean air, clean water, direct sun light, and good exercise brings good physical, mental, and spiritual health. Great parks provide all of these benefits to communities members and support a better quality of life.
What part of your position with Park Pride are you looking forward to the most?
I am most looking forward to helping community members find their voice and their power to create positive change and improve something in their community.