For the Love of Parks: We Help Shine the Spotlight on Local Parks Across the Country

By Dan Stone / Apr 20, 2017

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At Oliver Russell, we believe in bringing communities together. We also love sustainability initiatives and the environment.

That’s why we jumped at the chance to help the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) promote “Meet Me at the Park,” a campaign designed to improve local parks through projects that connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and provide access to sports.

To make this campaign a reality, NRPA is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company and its many networks, including Disney Citizenship, Disney-ABC Television Group and ESPN.

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Aside from stirring all kinds of nostalgia in us about our love for parks and the memories they hold, this project gave us a chance to flex all kinds of marketing muscles, from developing a social media campaign to the creation of a video, not to mention PR outreach, toolkit development for participating cities, and a whole lot more. 

15 cities, 15 ways to make a difference

Here’s how Meet Me at the Park works: During Earth Month (April), the public can vote for one of three park projects in 15 select cities to receive $20,000 in grant funding. The 15 cities and areas are:

  • Austin
  • Brevard County, Fla.
  • Charlotte
  • Chicago
  • Durham
  • Fresno
  • Hartford
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle

Campaign projects include activities such as planting community gardens, improving trails, and refurbishing playgrounds or soccer fields. Along with these cities, voters can also nominate another city anywhere across the country for the chance to receive a $20,000 grant for a park.

Cast your vote

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  • Voting for Meet Me at the Park is going on now through April 30. You can vote daily online or via text. Not only could your city win, but you could win, too. Everyone who votes for or nominates a city will be entered into a drawing for a computer tablet outfitted for the outdoors. Not bad, eh?

    Parks for the greater good

    Altogether, Meet Me at the Park has done a lot of good for a lot of people. In 2016, more than 200,000 individuals were impacted by Meet Me at the Park projects. In the last two years alone, the projects have achieved significant accomplishments: 

    • Providing improved access to physical activity for 370,110 people
    • Giving 53,343 people better access to nature experiences
    • Providing 10,194 people with more nutritional food options
    • Opening doors for 78,970 people to participate in sports
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    Don’t miss the PSA

    During April, a public service announcement (PSA) supporting the Meet Me at the Park campaign will run through a number of different channels, including across Disney’s networks: ABC Television Network, ABC-owned and affiliate stations, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, the ABC app and other digital platforms. Online, you can view the PSA here. Additionally, Radio Disney will support the campaign with an on-air radio spot.

    Be sure to show parks some love this month and vote! You can nominate a city, too. 

    Learn more about NRPA.

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    Thumbnails People Dan Stone

    Dan Stone

    Dan is an award-winning senior copywriter with more than 13 years of experience. He’s worked for agencies and companies in Idaho, Illinois and Washington, D.C. Dan’s clients have included the Smithsonian Institution, Comcast, Department of Defense and Virginia Tourism Corporation. He also uses his writing for good, whether recruiting others to help refugees locally or protect animals in Africa. You can usually find Dan pounding away at his keyboard, hunting for big ideas and causes to support.