The Friends of the Park program is a great program that several big cities offer. The goal of the program is to unite the surrounding communities, city officials as well as the Maricopa Parks, Recreation and Library Department to support the Parks and Rec program.

The program would involve fundraising for acquiring parks/open spaces (eg: a non-city owned park/open space that is in disarray); working with the City in designing new parks as well as volunteering time and energy to assist in the growth and development of recreation programs. The Friends of the Park will eventually be set up as a non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization, working to protect, preserve and improve Maricopa’s parks for all of its citizens.

The Friends of the Park will be a charitable and volunteer organization, which would be built to enhance the interpretive, educational and recreational objectives of our parks. Upon reaching 501 (C) 3 status, the program will have a volunteer board of directors and a general membership. The Friends of the Park would support all endeavors, plans, vision, etc. of the City of Maricopa Parks, Recreation and Library Department and would help out with activities such as running special protection and education programs, developing and distributing park publications, amongst other projects.

The Friends operate as a cooperating association under an agreement with the City of Maricopa Parks, Recreation and Library Department to enhance the educational, recreational and interpretive programs in Maricopa. The group will accomplish their goals by developing and reprinting park-related publications as well as funding park projects through the proceeds from specific private donations and various fundraising efforts.

Here are the four main tenets of this program:

• To serve as an advocate group for the PRL department, promoting public support for the care of valuable PRL resources and protecting all future parks from encroachment and misuse.
• To serve as a community liaison group and as a coordinating agent for other support projects.
• To implement programs and activities, which promote our parks and educate the community in cooperation with the City of Maricopa’s PRL Department.
• To establish and build a permanent source of funds for projects recommended by the City of Maricopa’s PRL Department.

There are six categories of interest and a brief description of each is listed below. While direct experience in a certain area is considered a plus, we’re also looking for people with a strong skill set that can help The Friends of the Park grow and in turn help the PRL Department expand. Please note that all positions will work hand-in-hand with the Director of the Parks, Recreation and Library Department. Further, all members agree to follow the rules and guidelines of the Friends of the Park group.

Grants/Fundraising: This group will focus on aggressively researching all available recreation grants on a national and local level. This group will work with the Director of Parks, Recreation and Libraries from a defined list of needs and wants for the department. Another major responsibility of this group is to seek specific, line-item donations to the Parks, Recreation and Library Department.

Cultural Events and Programs: This group will focus on enriching the lives of the community through special events such as Fourth of July celebrations, wine and cheese festivals, art fairs, special teen programs and other various events. Another facet of this group will help establish and identify potential cultural programs including but not limited to music, dance, art and theatre.

Youth and Adult Sports: This group will focus on establishing and developing award-winning youth and adult sports programs. Various duties will include scheduling game times, practice times, coach recruitment, volunteer umpire/referee and working with outside groups to establish skill camps.

Park Design: This group will be focused on researching the latest park trends from waterscape features to skate parks to amphitheaters. They will identify various locations throughout the City of Maricopa to establish parks, open space and trails. This group could be required to meet with Planning and Zoning at least once a month.

Youth, Adult and Senior Programs: This group will be focused on developing youth, adult and senior programs for the City of Maricopa. In addition to developing course ideas, members of this group will assist in finding qualified instructors. This group will also assist, if necessary, in the processing of applications and screening qualified individuals during the selection process.

Planning and Administrative Assistance: This group will be limited in scope to general planning and admin tasks such as typing, creation of ad layouts.

If you have any questions regarding any of the positions listed above, please contact Marty McDonald at 568-9098 or by e-mail at mmcdonald@cityofmaricopa.net

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