One year in

Today is my first anniversary of being a part of National Park City!

Reflecting on this first 12 months I might indulge myself by gently paraphrasing the famous Margaret Mead quote:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed volunteers can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

National Park City is built on the amazing contributions of so many wonderful volunteers, freely giving their evenings and weekends, in all sorts of ways to make their city greener, healthier and wilder. (Hopefully you’ve seen a few this month on our London wide outdoor campaign!)

It has been such a pleasure to get to know so many lovely people from so many different backgrounds, either directly as Rangers, folk who want to give a hand to help us build the movement, as well as our amazing group of Trustees, both old and new, who have made me feel so welcome. I’m especially grateful to my colleagues Ed and Floree who continue to be a great source of guidance and support.

Together we build the National Park City. Considering the whole place, the connections that bind communities, and the importance of spending time outdoors together.

Which brings me to the second quote (introduced to me by Dan Burgess of Spaceship Earth), which pretty much sums up how I’ve approached this role since. This time by Gregory Bateson, (who happens to have been the husband of Margaret Mead):

“The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.”

It is this difference, this disconnection from nature, especially within cities, that lies at the heart of the climate and biodiversity emergencies.

National Park Cities introduce a new story for how we live in urban areas in the coming decades, reestablishing that connection, especially with urban nature, through which we might begin to address the worst of these crises.

The first chapter of the National Park City began with the launch of London National Park City in 2019, followed by Adelaide in 2021, and with another dozen cities on the journey. So one year in I want to extend an invite to each of you to help write the next chapters.

Do one thing

Thank you for being part of this story, we hope to see you soon – you can check out the event listings on our community site.

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