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Beckley: How has the park district shaped your story?

Published: Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 8:30 a.m. CDT
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Brandi Beckley is the External Affairs Manager at the Downers Grove Park District.

With Downers Grove recently receiving the accolade of “#2 City in the Nation to Raise Kids” by livability.com, as well as the “8th friendliest town in America” by Forbes in 2013, and “#5 Best Place in the US for a Healthy Retirement” by CNN Money Magazine in 2012, who wouldn’t want to live here?

We’d like to think our parks and recreation services play a large role in achieving these awards. Great schools, great parks, great services and great neighbors make us proud of the community we live in. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from our residents about how much they love this town, the programs and parks we offer. Even visitors from surrounding communities tell us how much they enjoy coming to play, dine and shop in Downers Grove.

I’d like to share with you the story of how we developed our current tagline, “your chance to play." Throughout our rebranding effort in 2009, we created a new logo and website. We also administered community surveys and focus groups to better understand our image within the community and make sure it was being properly portrayed through our new logo, website and tagline.

One such focus group consisted of parents of children participating in our programs. When the group was asked what they liked about Downers Grove Park District and why they or members of their family participated in our programs, a mom shared her story with me.

As a Downers Grove resident, her children attended school in our local school district. She explained her children just wanted a chance to play sports but would never make the school athletic teams at their general skill levels. The park district’s programs and recreational leagues gave them that opportunity to be part of a team and have fun in a low pressure environment. Downers Grove Park District was their “chance to play."

This mom’s story doesn’t just apply to kids. Downers Grove Park District is your chance to play whether you are eight or 80 years old, whether you want to meet others with similar interests and be part of a team, or just take a walk and sit on a park bench.

We’d love to hear your story. How have Downers Grove parks or recreation programs affected your life or your family’s life in one way or another? Even if you didn’t grow up here, or you didn’t step foot in one of our parks or take a class until recently, tell us what that has meant to you. Your story may inspire our next tagline!

Share your story with us by email at partners@dgparks.org or by calling Brandi Beckley in the External Affairs office at 630-963-1304.

Brandi Beckley is the External Affairs Manager at the Downers Grove Park District.

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