How to be a good friend to our park
A personal view from Nick Burroughs, chair of the Friends of St George Park.
ST George Park has been described as a hidden gem, hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Church Road, with slopes leading down to the lake fed by the water from the now hidden Wain Brook. Parks are good for people and the environment: they reduce stress and make us all feel good.
The park is the council’s responsibility, isn’t it? By law, yes. But we all know the council is strapped for cash and the park maintenance budget is limited. We also know the council don’t always get it right: they can be unresponsive and are often poor at communicating. But they have recently replaced the toilets, refurbished the Bake Box kiosk and installed CCTV in response to pressure from the community.
Care of the park is also a community responsibility. We are the people who use and enjoy it, who get annoyed when it is misused and who suffer when bad things happen. The park needs friends.
What can we do to be good friends?
Be a happy friend – enjoy the park and what it offers, from the sun on your face to the sound of children in the play area and the laughter of people enjoying each other’s company.
Be a caring friend – if something needs doing, get involved in sorting it out. That doesn’t mean posting “someone should do something” on Facebook. Report it to the council, the police, your councillor or the Friends group.
Be a positive friend – our park is wonderful, but could it be even better? What about updating the play area? Enabling better access for people with disabilities? How about reclaiming area behind the bowls club as a positive community space? Make the Wheelpark fit for skateboarding as an Olympic sport? Turn the east end of lake and island into a wildlife sanctuary?
Be an active friend – don’t wait until something bad happens or think someone else will do it. Even something like picking up a piece of litter is a positive statement that you care.
Be part of a group of friends – the Friends of St George Park are a community group who care for and about St George Park. They work with Bristol City Council and others to keep the park welcoming, well maintained and safe. They also look at ways to make the park even better and would welcome your help and creativity in supporting our park.
All of this needs money, doesn’t it? Some of it does, but there is money out there from grants and other sources. The bigger problem is finding people who care and are willing to give some of their time to get involved and make things happen for our community.
If you would like to get involved and be an active friend, please email email@example.com or visit friendsofstgeorgepark.org.uk.
Enjoy our park!