Urban Parks between Safety and Aesthetics | Free Essay Example

Urban Parks between Safety and Aesthetics

Words: 2262
Topic: Environment
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Introduction

Parks and recreational facilities are the heart of the city, and they play a significant role in the lives of citizens. Parks are the place where people can spend their free time, get to know each other in a safe environment, have a rest from the bustle of the city, and enjoy nature. Park areas contribute to air quality improvement and provide habitat for flora and fauna. For that reason, it is crucial to take good care of recreational areas and apply effective safety measures for all general parks.

In order to compose the report about Corona Park, research was carried out. The measures the local park takes in order to ensure environmental safety and the prevention of the destruction of the park were investigated, and the guidelines for safety improvement have been compiled. The primary steps that were taken were going on nycgovparks.org and taking a visit to the park. The website provided a good introductory to what the park offers, facts about its history, and information about the events that will take place during the time of the visits.

The visits to the park were useful as they gave an idea of the structure of the habitations of certain animals and plants, and the frequency of people visiting there. It was assumed that security measures such as high camera surveillance, late-night security drive-by, strict limitation of hours after dark and preservation of animal habitats with proper gardening of the vegetation, were the exact processes that the park would take or has taken in order to stop any sort of destruction to the area. One of the aims was to verify or disprove the assumptions about safety measures.

A weekly visit within the four weeks was made to the Corona Park and its nearby territories to find the answers to the research questions. The number of visitors was considered as well as their age and aim of the visit. The condition of the grass that surrounds the majority of the park, the level of pollution nearby the Corona park lake were explored to obtain in-depth information about the condition of the park. In the lake, particularly, the weekly pH test of the lake water was taken as well as the visual assessment was conducted. Overall, the combination of the acidic level of water, the level of damage on the grassland, the diversity of park animals has given an overall idea of what the park officials do and how well they perform to ensure the safety and preservation of the park (DeMello, 2012).

In order to draw conclusions and make suggestions for further safety improvement, I have spent most of my time in the park serving the field as well as constantly looking for park employees and officials to question. In addition, a survey of employees was conducted in which the questions concentrated on how much they care about the park, what they like to do, and if they are taking the right measures for keeping the park safe. The sources about deforestation and methods of proper sustainability have been consulted to back up the gathered information.

For those who are planning to pursue the same Field Project topic, it is advisable to conduct the research about this area prior to taking any further steps, as the researcher needs to acquaint him or herself with the necessary background information. Apart from that, it is necessary to make several visits to the place and contact the employees and visitors to collect as detailed information about their experiences as possible. It is crucial to document all the observations and keep track of all the changes because they would be needed for further analysis. It goes without saying that the students will have to consult reliable literature about the area of research to ensure the most accurate results.

Interviews and Observation Results

According to the observations, in the first half of the day, the main visitors to the park are mostly elderly people and parents with children of the preschool age. In the evenings, mostly young and middle-aged people that want to get away from the bustle of the day visit the park. Some visitors ride bicycles, some people go for picnics and walk or take part in activities offered by the park. However, in the evenings, some visitors came to the park intoxicated and started throwing trash (bottles, food leftovers) on the grass and in the lake or were trying to damage the park facilities, which was noticed by the park officials. Further, some people would throw garbage in the nearby territories despite the fact that the trash bins were approximately 10 meters away from them.

The observations lead to the conclusion that the park needs to be safely maintained and must be protected against human and environmental damage. Human pollution has caused an increase in the amount of trash.

In Corona, with the lack of knowledge for many local visitors, trash is thrown consistently around the area, causing many parts of the parks to be dirty and very unattractive. Moreover, it was noticed that weathering and erosion have caused habitat damage and affected animal and vegetation life. According to Mr. Smith, who is one of the park officials, with a recent climate change and stormy weather at the beginning of the year, many parts of the park including the playground have been damaged and needed immediate reconstruction (personal communication, July 1, 2016).

As per employee survey results, the problem of park development is acute (Jane Collins, personal communication, June 27, 2016). Much attention is paid to the modernization and improvement of the park. The main objective of the modernization is the renovation of the existing park facilities to create a contrast with the architectural environment of the city (Jane Collins, personal communication, June 27, 2016). The current aim of the park officials is to create the conditions for pleasant and meaningful recreation of the citizens, as well as educating them to take care of the park.

Regarding the employees, they are allowed to perform certain actions to facilitate damage prevention and ensure the environmental safety of the park (Mambretti, 2011). They are allowed to check the visitors of the park regarding their physical condition (if the visitor is intoxicated or acts aggressively). They have the right to carry out environmental management and other activities on the territory adjacent to the park in case the situation requires so (Karl Robbins, personal communication, June 21, 2016).

Moreover, they can submit information about the perpetrators of violations of the established regime of the park to the officials and the police. Further, the officials have applied particular measures to ensure the park’s safety. For instance, high camera surveillance and late-night security drive by have been introduced to secure the territory. After dark, the access to the park is limited, which has had a positive effect due to the decrease in the number of visitors.

Before introducing this policy, there was a tendency of drunk fights after dark, the result of which was the destruction of the parking area and negative social implications. Moreover, the proper gardening of the vegetation has enabled preserving the natural animal habitats (Spilsbury, 2011). As for the pH tests of the lake water, they have revealed that the pH indicators were around normal. Judging by the survey and observation results, the park officials and employees need to take measures to improve the current situation; otherwise, the attractiveness of the Corona Park will continue to decrease.

Solutions

One of the solutions to the existing problem of pollution is educating the visitors of the park about the damage and contamination prevention. The development of environmental education activities should be one of the main tasks of the park’s employees and officials (Altman & Zube, 2012). The employees should provide informational support to the population about the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of Corona Park. They should form the correct understanding of the role of recreational areas in the minds of citizens. Apart from that, they should foster environmental awareness of the visitors and enforce the development of the ecological culture of the population.

Environmental education should be integrated into the system of recreational activities and play a significant role in the formation of ecological the culture of the visitors. The park has a program of various activities aimed at different age groups, so it would be a good idea to implement ecological education in the curriculum. The environmental education work will be more effective if the park officials will allow using the natural, historical, and cultural potential of this place.

Education should be based on local traditions and contribute to their conservation or renewal (Schneid, 2015). It is crucial that the educational activities would be aimed at the younger generation as they are the main group that affects the wellbeing of the park territories. The young people need to realize that the Corona Park is the part of the heritage of local residents; thus, it is important to take good care of it and preserve its flora and fauna as well as the park facilities (Spilsbury, 2011).

As well as other activities, environmental education can be drafted in the course of development of the management plans. It is advisable to consider several issues when planning the activities for raising the awareness of the visitors and the employees as well. For instance, the organization should think through and organize professional training in the environmental education department of the park (Altman & Zube, 2012).

In addition, professional educators have to teach the employees about the forms and methods of work with the population and different age and social groups. The specific emphasis should be made on developing the interpersonal skills of the employees and raising their awareness of the social and psychological aspects of this work. It is crucial that environmental education programs would be targeted at working with different segments of the population.

By strengthening the intellectual potential of the park workers, by attracting professional educators, creative professionals, and experts in the biological sphere, the officials will be able to make a significant contribution to the improvement of the situation (Mambretti, 2011). The employees should be taught what methods and techniques can be used so that the visitors will not only receive the information but also will emotionally perceive and realize the importance of preserving the natural and cultural heritage (Schneid, 2015).

Further on, by forming a unified style in advertising of the national park and intensifying the promotional activities, the officials will be able to attract the attention of citizens to the issue of park security and cleanliness. The educational curriculum can include workshops that would demonstrate the value of natural areas and explain the importance of preserving the habitat of animals (DeMello, 2012).

Additionally, workshops in history will introduce the history of the park and the region itself, the way of life of the locals, traditions, and others, this way enhancing the self-consciousness of the citizens. The formation of stationary and mobile advertising-informational expositions (for instance, exhibitions of children’s art) can draw public attention to the existing problems. There are various means of raising the awareness of visitors and boosting their consciousness.

Conclusion

Summing everything up, one of the most important solutions is educating the public and assuring that park employees do and know what they need to be sure that the safety regulations are performed properly, and the damage to the natural areas and animal habitat is minimized (Mambretti, 2011). The park visitors need to know how to take care of the park, and the officials need to know how to do their job properly.

Practically speaking, people need to know where to put their trash and should be taught to put it into the right kind of receptacle. In terms of the park renovation, it should be noted that if park officials are responsible enough to make arrangements for the reconstruction of certain areas that are damaged; it will not take long for the place to be renovated, which will, therefore, increase the park’s attractiveness.

It is worthy of noting that currently many of the workers are treating their park job as a job; subsequently, there is not much care given to the area. Certain rulings on how to manage the park need to be amended so that the situation would start to change without a delay. Park employees are the closest and most frequent people in the area, so a park official without true care for the place will not help in preventing damage. Park visitors and park employees need to work together and be knowledgeable about safety practices as well as penalties for violating the security of the local park (Altman & Zube, 2012). Thus, the visitors need to be responsible for their actions, while the officials need to know the importance of their job and need to educate those who may help to prevent park damage.

In conclusion, the park solves a number of environmental and social problems. The value of the local park is determined by the fact that it creates the conditions for a variety of recreational activities for the citizens. However, given the fact that the flora and fauna are suffering from pollution and negligence, the drastic measures should be taken. The public should be educated on how to take care of the park, and the employees need to strive for securing the environment from all sorts of dangers. The visitors and park employees need to work jointly and be knowledgeable about measures for keeping the park and the nearby territories in proper condition.

References

Altman, I., & Zube, E. H. (2012). Control as a dimension of public-space quality. In M. Francis (Ed), Public spaces and places (147-172). New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

DeMello, M. (2012). Animals and society: An introduction to human-animal studies. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Mambretti, I. M. (2011). Urban parks between safety and aesthetics: Exploring urban green space using visualization and conjoint analysis Methods. Zurich, Switzerland: vdf Hochschulverlag AG.

Schneid, T. D. (2015). Creative safety solutions. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Spilsbury, R. (2011). Deforestation. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group.