July is National Park and Recreation month! What better time to highlight our collaboration with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) than on this special occasion?
GUIDE was created by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education in 1986. We have worked closely with GCPR from the beginning, but our partnership has expanded over the past several years within the context of our substance abuse prevention strategies and training programs.
Live Healthy Gwinnett, which was launched in partnership between GCPR and Eastside Medical Center, has played a major role the growth of our involvement with GCPR. Over the past several years, we have partnered to offer workshops during the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association’s Recreation Programmers Network Workshops to provide those working with youth resources for best practices regarding positive youth development.
We also attend Lights On Afterschool annually at a local park in Gwinnett, which is hosted by Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Live Healthy Gwinnett and several community partners. This gives us a unique opportunity to show our support for afterschool programs while also engaging with the community in a fun setting.
As a part of our commitment to building youth voice in the county, we have supported a GCPR Youth Action Team for over two decades. We have provided resources and assistance in order for them to conduct countless activities and projects around Gwinnett to prevent underage drinking and other substance abuse as well as other service type projects to keep the community healthy and safe.
We also provide many different types of training for the GCPR day camp staff and others as needed, and they have allowed us to host various trainings at their many parks around the county.
We have worked with GCPR on various strategies through various substance abuse prevention initiatives such as those that aim to reduce access to underage drinking and binge drinking among 9-20 year olds in Gwinnett County. The collaborative initiatives have included exhibiting and distributing prevention materials at park events, sharing our PSAs about various prevention topics in Gwinnett publications and more. We have also collaborated with them to display our Inspired to Make Healthy Choices monthly newsletter and prevention-focused banners throughout the parks.
GUIDE has also collaborate with GCPR and Live Healthy Gwinnett many times to raise awareness about suicide prevention, such as by leading Walk the Talk sessions to talk about mental health and local resources. In addition, GCPR and Live Healthy Gwinnett are encouraging their staff to be trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid and helping us put on a GUIDE to Wellness Fair in honor of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
We are so grateful for the ongoing support of GCPR and the involvement of their staff in our initiatives and programs!
Sharing goals of creating a safer, healthier community with our partners has allowed us to expand our reach while supporting each other’s projects. The partnership we share with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation is valuable, and we are beyond grateful for the support and commitment of the staff who are always looking for ways to expand our reach and capacity.