Park Pride is pleased to welcome Vanessa Miot to the team as our Community Services Associate! In this position, she will support Friends of the Park groups as they work to improve their parks, build their capacity to make positive change, and strengthen community through the stewardship of public greenspaces.
Vanessa comes to Park Pride with a background in medicine. While she found the work extremely rewarding, treating people only to send them out into the environment that was the root cause of the illness often felt like an uphill climb. So, Vanessa decided to make the leap and work with communities to improve health outcomes through understanding and healing of the local environment, enhancing communities’ connections to the land, and strengthening community bonds in the process.
Continue reading to get to know Vanessa in her own words!
What does the “power of parks” mean to you?
Why are parks an important part of the community?
For many, parks serve as a classroom, a place to socialize and gather with friends and family, a place to explore and observe wildlife, a place to escape and disconnect. One place promotes community engagement, health, safety, and revitalization – sounds like a pretty incredible place to me!
What are you most excited about regarding your new role?
I am excited to work so closely with neighborhood park advocates on a topic that is close to my heart and to see that the interests and collaborative work of neighborhood park advocates are heard, supported, and efficiently executed.
How do you hope to empower communities to engage and make a difference in their neighborhood parks?
By showing up for them. Making sure neighbors are aware that their concerns and desire to have a safe and active park is valid and that they have the accurate information and support to see that their joint efforts come to fruition.
What’s your favorite park memory?
They mostly all include a bird! During a visit to a park, I ran into some fellow birders who shared that they saw a Smooth-billed Ani, which was a rare sighting. We spotted the bird across the pond and took off running with our cameras around the pond, which was a pretty good size. There was no guarantee that the bird would be there when we arrived, but it was a chance that we were willing to take. Though we were winded, it was worth it. Not only did we see it, but the Smooth-bill Ani stayed long enough for us to take pictures and observe a while!
Favorite Atlanta park (and why)?
Cochran Shoals Park is my favorite because of the varied trails and scenic views of the Chattahoochee River. As a birder I appreciate the diverse habitats such as the woodlands and the marshes.
Help us welcome Vanessa to the team! Email her at email@example.com.