This Saturday is Earth Day, the perfect excuse to head to your neighborhood park and make a connection. Connect with nature, your community or simply enjoy time by yourself. Urban parks are essential for the health of a city and its inhabitants. This Earth Day make a positive impact and create a habit that will have lasting benefits on your park all year long. Not sure where to start?
Here are 5 ways you can make a difference on Earth Day and everyday:
- Smell more flowers, less smoke.
Did you know that Providence Ordinance 18-22 prohibits smoking in city parks? To protect the health of all citizens and wildlife who visit the park, all city parks are Tobacco Free. Why? Because cigarette butts are the most common piece of litter and cigarette butts are not biodegradable. Fewer cigarettes littering the parks means that we have cleaner waterways in Rhode Island, because the butts haven’t washed away in the rain. A study conducted by San Diego State University put a single cigarette butt in a liter of water, and it raised the toxicity of the water by 50%. Second-hand smoke is also a health risk, especially for kids. Our parks are visited by children and families to attend our kid-focused activities, and a smoke-free environment is better for everyone’s health.
- The pigeons aren’t hungry.
It may be tempting to indulge your love of animals by feeding them your leftover lunch or bringing in stale bread, but feeding the pigeons actually harms the birds instead of helping them. There is plenty for the pigeons to eat naturally, but being fed can impact their natural ability to scavenge and find food. It’s also not just the pigeons eating, it’s also rats who come out for the free meal. Bread is also an unhealthy food source for pigeons who need fat and protein to survive. Bread can also cause digestive blockages and the mold on bread causes illness.
- Deposit your trash in receptacles.
There are several trash cans located throughout the parks to deposit your trash. While little on the ground is definitely an eye sore, it also has tangible negative impacts on the park. For starters, litter in the park can affect public health by increasing anxiety and depression as well as inviting disease carrying rodents. It also impacts safety by leading to other negative behavior such as graffiti, which eventually also impacts the economy. Litter-free parks do not need tax dollars spent cleaning them up, and more money is spent in nearby businesses.
- Spend time in the parks.
The best way to show your park love is by visiting one of your local parks and spending time in it. Pick up your lunch from a food truck and enjoy it on a park bench, bring some knitting for a midday break, or go for a walk to get your blood pumping. How do you like to spend time in your favorite parks?
- Make a donation to the DPPC.
The Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy is a public-private partnership formed to preserve and revitalize Providence’s historic downtown core and transform it into a lively, prosperous center for all of Providence to enjoy. We bring free summer programming to the park for kids and families, work to restore historical monuments, and advocate for the safety and beauty of our downtown parks. If you believe in the work we do, get involved! Make a one time donation, or have your business sponsor an event.
Spending some time in Providence Parks this weekend? Tag us in your photos so we can see how you spend your Earth Day.