PARTNERSHIP FOR PROVIDENCE PARKS
PLAYFUL PARKS COORDINATOR
Address: 11 West Drive, Providence, RI 02904
Name of Supervisor: Helene Miller
Phone number: (917) 658-5724 Email: helene@providence parks.org
There are more than 100 neighborhood parks in 26 neighborhoods in Providence that offer open green spaces for EVERYONE to “Play, Relax, Explore”. When surveyed, local public school students reported that many parks in their neighborhood appeared unclean and were therefore unsafe for them to use. Furthermore, even when parks are well cared for and clean, random park-goers report that parks don't necessarily provide activities and features that match their interests and meet their needs.
Mission of the Partnership for Providence Parks (P3):
P3 cultivates volunteer friends groups and provides support and resources for them to transform their neighborhood parks into vibrant, healthy, and playful community spaces in collaboration with the Providence Department of Parks & Recreation.
Organization profile for the Partnership for Providence Parks:
P3 is small but mighty! The strength is in our many partnerships. We seek to transform our 112 parks and green spaces through the vision, power, and resources of all of the neighborhood people who play, relax, and explore in these parks. We do what we do with a small, highly motivated, and experienced administrative staff and volunteer friends who are mostly adult friends groups living and/or working near a park.
Playful Parks Coordinator Job Description:
We have learned a lot about best practices in parks through the hard work of building parks and park friends groups; planning and executing cleanups/spruce-ups; planning, funding and hosting cultural events; designing, creating and funding playgrounds, pump tracks, and parkour courses; growing community, pollinator, and teaching/sharing gardens; making public art; and supporting city programs in parks to address food insecurity (ie free summer meals), and promote fitness, literacy and free play. The overall goal is to have a friends group in every park and park features and programs that reflect what each community wants its green space to look, feel and even smell like! We seek a student to be a Playful Park Coordinator to help us with our mission. In this role, the Coordinator will work closely with the Executive Director and Assistant Director to support the Partnerships mission and its various programs. You will be able to work on one area of interest or several.
Hours & Pay
Expect to average 5 to 6 hours a week each semester.
Hourly rate is $12.50.
*Passion for playing, relaxing and exploring in neighborhood parks!
*Willingness to be a “Playful Parks Person”
*Community organizing experience or strong desire to learn social engagement skills
*Appreciation for the importance of public parks as platforms for access, equity and
*Excellent communication and organizational skills
*Enjoyment of social media and web
*Resourceful, creative, “out-of-the-box-thinker”, flexible, responsible, enthusiastic, and able to work independently and with others
Why would you want to do this?
Make people of all ages a central and vibrant resource for the revitalization and activation of Providence’s parks in all neighborhoods. Opportunity to shape policy and create best practices in urban park revitalization.
What will working with us be like?
You will be given a lot of latitude to develop and shape individual Park Friends Groups and neighborhood parks: what they will look like, sound like and feel like to reflect the uniqueness of each park community.
What is the work environment like?
Each day will be different. You will work with the project team, community leaders and people of all ages at parks, and in the office. You will have your own work space in an office in the Park Department Headquarters at Roger Williams Park and the Recreation Department Headquarters next to a neighborhood park that has an Park Friends group in formation.
What can you expect to learn?
• Work effectively in a community non-profit
• Work effectively in and around City government
• Initiate and complete a workable and sustainable project
• Learn how to work effectively with different and often disparate constituencies
• Understand the need for healthy, vibrant and safe public spaces
What are the mentoring and additional training opportunities?
P3 has a strong, committed staff for you to learn from and with! We have a toy inventor, play specialist, garden guru, social media coordinator, Finance Officer, and Urban Wildlife Expert to inform your work.
Park staff and resources represent a Botanical Center, urban forestry, environmental and wildlife education, event facilities, Museum of Natural History, cemeteries, landscape architects, outdoor recreation, green infrastructure, local history, building and construction trade management, fund development, GIS, and community organizing. Your work will entail collaboration with each of these entities.
Recreation staff has administrative staff to work with you including the Recreational Opportunities Coordinator; a Deputy Director trained in conflict resolution; and staff from the ten Recreation Centers who have usually "come up" through the "Recs" themselves.
P3 has a myriad of other community partners like regional recreation centers, public schools and more with whom you will meet and collaborate with.
You will work closely with diverse members of Park Friends Groups across all 26 neighborhoods throughout Providence. These park friends are now largely adults but if we are lucky enough to work with you, we will soon have Youth Park Friends Groups, too!
Note: Position payment and credit must be negotiated between the student and their institution.