WHO WE ARE

Friends of Belfast Parks is a membership-driven, volunteer-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, continued improvement, and respectful use of our local parks and greenspaces.  

Membership is open to anyone who has an interest in our local parks and a desire to help protect and improve them for future generations.  We heartily welcome new members and hope you will consider becoming a member.   The annual membership fee is quite nominal, but the rewards are immense!  

So join today, bring your energy and ideas, and make a difference!  Just complete the membership form under the “Get Involved” section and mail it to the address listed.

Friends of Belfast Parks works to increase public awareness about the inherent value of parks; promote community use and respect for the facilities; involve youth in projects to extent possible; and support the efforts of the Belfast Parks and Recreation Department with special projects and fundraising as needed.

 

OUR HISTORY

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Why We do What We do

It’s simple!  Parks and  green spaces are vitally important

to a community because they:

Embody the American tradition of preserving public lands for the benefit of all citizens

 

Offer opportunities to be physically active, reduce stress, enhance personal wellness, and re-connect to nature

 

Have facilities for organized, structured, enjoyable activities for people of all ages

 

Encourage critical social interactions for maintaining community cohesion

 

Provide protected critical habitat and corridors for indigenous and migratory wildlife

 

Provide floodplain protection, groundwater recharge areas, natural sound barriers, and vegetative buffers

 

Help lower temperatures and mitigate other negative effects of climate change

 

Increase the overall community tax base, as properties closer to parks are assessed at a significantly higher value

 

Are economic engines that improve quality of life and make community a more desirable place to live

 

Adapted from “Top 10 Reasons Parks Are Important,” by R.J. Dolesh, M. Hobbs Vinluan,

M. Phillips, National Recreation and Park Association

FOBP was established in 1996 by a small group of citizens who were concerned about the state of disrepair and deteriorating conditions in the local park spaces.  At that time the city had one park of any size (Belfast City Park) and four smaller parks (Heritage Park, Wales Park, Kirby Lake, and Eleanor Crawford Park) but no parks department or staff.  Groundskeeping and facility maintenance were performed by Public Works Department crews on a minimal “as needed” basis, under the direction of an Assistant City Manager.  A volunteer Parks and Recreation Commission served to advise city officials as to the custody, care and management of the parks and facilities.
 
Largely due to the advocacy and persistence of the FOBP membership, in 2004 the city established a Parks and Recreation Department and hired its first full-time Director to manage the park system.  Money was budgeted for seasonal groundskeeping staff to maintain the park areas.  Since then, the Belfast municipal park system has grown exponentially.  Today the city has fourteen parks; a system of walking paths and trails; an arboretum; and an indoor facility that can be used for recreational activities, public meetings and private functions.

FOBP OFFICERS 2022

President        Carol Good
Vice President        Fran Torresen
Secretary        Carol Bauss
Treasurer        Dale Kuhnert