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Parks & Recreation Environmental Efforts

The Parks & Recreation Department has enhanced the city's environmental mindset by going the extra mile through the following programs.

The Parks & Rec Department assisted with constructing three BIO retention/rain gardens to improve water quality for Lewis Creek.

 

Mulch1

There are many areas landscaped with flowers and trees in the city. Parks & Recreation manufacture their own mulch by taking wood scraps and leaves collected from the park areas during pruning and cleaning operations and use it throughout the city to beautify these areas. Last year alone, over 300 tons of wood waste material was recycled in this manner.

Recycling cans

Plastic bottle and aluminum can recycling bins can be found in central locations within the parks.

Recycling station at GHP

There is also a recycling station in Gypsy Hill Park. Items that can be brought for recycling are as follows:

Plastics 1-7
Glass Bottles
Mixed Paper (junk mail, newspaper, printer paper, magazines, etc)
Aluminum & Bi-Metals
Cardboard (all kinds)

 

Matt sensebaugh fills the watering truck

Water used to irrigate trees and flower arrangements throughout the city gets collected from springs at Gypsy Hill Park.

 

Parks & Recreation also has many Community Outreach programs.

 

A Few Other Things We Do:

Recreation Office & Marketing

-We print 20K-28K quarterly brochures on Rainforest Alliance Certified and FSC paper.
FSC- Forest Stewardship Council – products from well-managed forests, controlled
sources and recycled wood or fiber.
-We mainly use e-blasts, ListServ, Twitter and Facebook versus sending fliers and
postcards to inform target markets about classes and events
.
-Encourage residents to “Play Local” with the use of the Department advertising
campaign.
-At the Recreation Office we use ceramic coffee cups versus paper and Styrofoam cups.
-We initiated office paper recycling within all city departments.

 

Parks & Horticulture

-Use of recycle bins in parks – bottles and cans.
-Replace shade & flowering trees as they are removed.  In general we average about 100
trees planted per year which is actually more than we remove in a regular year.  We
continue with follow up care to ensure that the trees get established.
-Conduct proper structural pruning & deadwood removal to extend the lives of our
shade trees and thus their environmental benefits.
-The City of Staunton has been designated a "Tree City USA" for 14 years.  This is an
award given out by the National Arbor Day Foundation recognizing municipalities for
their tree care & tree planting programs.
-Usage of water soluble fertilizers in our flower beds have been greatly reduced (about
50% of what was used formerly). 
-Minimal pest & disease control spray and only spray low dosage treatments as needed.


Events

-Moved away from individual packet condiments at events to bulk containers.
-Promoted organic & locally grown food at the Awakening Common-Unity event.
-Promoted alternative energy as well as land stewardship at the Awakening.


Summer Playground & H.E.A.R.T.

-Promote the gift of nature by designating the theme for Summer Playground: “Getting
Back to Nature”.
-Educate the campers by focusing all activities on organic gardening, sustainable
lifestyles, recycling and outdoor recreation.
-Recycle at all Summer Playground sites.

-In the HEART program we have made the transition away from individually wrapped
snacks loaded with preservatives and toxins. We no longer serve snacks with enriched
wheat flour listed as the first ingredient which is mandatory for Social Service
regulated programs when providing a bread or bread alternative as a snack.  We now
offer fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat or multi-grain breads and a variety of
naturally occurring foods with very little processing.

 

 

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