Recognising the Vital Role of Park Managers: The Cornerstone of Our Green Spaces and Community Well-being

Logo: Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure

By Horaine Pickersgill, Parks Manager

A group of men putting up a flag pole
A team of Mobile Parks Rangers banding together to hoist a new Green Flag pole at Valentines Park. Valentines Park is our premiere award winning park securing the prestigious Green Flag. The park has a diverse tree collection including a 300 year old field maple, ornamental gardens, flowering meadows and a network of accessible paths for you to enjoy (Vision RCL)

In 2022, VRCL Parks and Open Spaces recorded an impressive 9,000 volunteer hours, underscoring the community's robust engagement in our parks in Redbridge. Notably, over 400 days were exclusively focused on litter collection. While these accomplishments are laudable, it is imperative to acknowledge the key, yet often unrecognised, player in this ecosystem—the Park Manager.

As societal ties with nature ebb and flow, Park Managers are making strides in a consistent direction, ensuring our parks are well-maintained, secure, and inviting for all.

Two older men maintaining a commemorative tree in a garden
Volunteers from both Goodmayes Park and South Park working together maintaining a commemorative tree of a past volunteer. A heartfelt thank you to our incredible volunteers for their selfless efforts in contributing to community-led initiatives. Your hard work makes all the difference! (Vision RCL)

A core aspect of their role is People Management. Far more than just overseers, these managers act as mentors, fostering a supportive work environment and promoting personal development within their teams.

In the realm of Operational Excellence, they efficiently manage daily tasks across a staggering 50 parks in the London Borough of Redbridge. This includes building inspections and compliance checks, always aimed at enhancing the visitor experience.

On the matter of Safety and Compliance, they serve as vigilant custodians. They uphold health and safety guidelines, environmental protocols, and employment and environment laws, frequently conducting risk assessments to maintain the parks as safe havens.

Community Engagement is also integral to their role. They serve as the crucial link between the parks and their users, shaping green spaces that resonate with community needs.

Furthermore, Resource Management and Financial Oversight are key components of their responsibilities. They oversee maintenance activities and handle budgets skilfully, ensuring fiscal responsibility while seeking revenue opportunities.

Their role is undoubtedly challenging and time-consuming, but it is also immensely rewarding. They are stewards of spaces that enrich our lives, facilitating our connection with nature.

We must also acknowledge the collaborative efforts of various community groups and organisations that aid these Park Managers. Their collective endeavours significantly contribute to the upkeep and improvement of our green spaces, thereby enhancing our overall well-being.

So the next time you visit a park, take a moment to appreciate the work of the Park Manager. Get involved in volunteer opportunities to help sustain these vital communal spaces.

Lastly, we extend our deepest gratitude to the dedicated managers and staff of Vision Redbridge Parks, both past and present. Their contributions have been invaluable, and their enduring legacy will be cherished. Thank you for your steadfast commitment to the betterment of our community's green spaces.

For those interested in getting involved, visit: VRCL Parks and Open Spaces

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Posted On: 23/10/2023

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