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As I sit here scanning websites for various media sources to post our next Community Engagement Workshop and build attendance, it occurs to me I’ve never bothered to attend one of these in my very own City. Gasp!

Here I am, almost annoyingly passionate about this part of our projects. I light up at the idea of providing education and access for a variety community members. Assisting them to design and build something that they will be able to experience in real time. Besides the social benefits of getting people outside, encouraging children to learn through nature, instilling safety in an underprivileged community and responsibly greening the globe, it’s just plain fun to hear other people’s creative ideas as we dream together.

I still vividly remember picking playground equipment out of a catalogue as kid for San Ramon Central Park over 25 years ago. (Don’t do the math, it’s not worth it.) It was an artful red bouncy horse. Months later I attended the park’s Grand Opening and as I ran past the splashing fountain to the packed tire swing, I rounded the corner to see my horsey waiting for me in a pit of untouched sand. Perfectly perched and ready for riding with a big smile across his face. It was better than a Birthday. This way my horsey! It came for me and it was in a real live park and making all my friends happy too. I’m sure without even realizing it yet, my passion for this industry was beginning to form. (Thanks Mom and Dad Gates!)

Images San Ramon Central Park
Check out the vintage photographs of the original playground area from 1989.

Who wouldn’t want to give that experience to everyone?

So, why, knowing how valuable and rewarding getting involved in these parts of your community can be, do I not participate?

Assuming of course I’m interested in the topic and I can stumble on a flyer or email blast with information, for me it comes down to time.

I’m a working mom with little time to spare, so attending an event in an evening after work is out of the question. (Even if they give me dinner.)

A weekend event. Ok, I’m listening

A weekend event that I can bring the kid along. I’m interested.

A link to a survey I can take on my smart phone while prepping dinner. I’m already done!

Of course, I am just one voice and view out of many that should be represented. I’m fairly certain a park with swings, sand, taco trucks and shoe shops nearby is not ideal for a wide range of users. So, now I’m asking you, what would make you personally participate?

I’m created a short survey to collect that very information, please time a moment to fill it out and spread the word. Hey, it could be your very first step in Community Engagement!

Click Here: Community Engagement Survey