Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blogging and Soccer and Turtles

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Some weeks it's a stretch - coming up with content that is (a) relevant to VRPS, and (b) of interest to its community.  Some weeks I'm tempted to skip it altogether - the "fans" out there are silent anyway (tsk tsk), but alas, my resolve rises and I am determined to post each week.  That is the only way to instill growth.  

Confession:  my number one source for blog content (or ideas, rather) is Facebook.  After all, if I want to know what is happening NOW, and I want it in a concise/catchy/visual format (photos, pictographs), why not let the content come to ME via Facebook and the pages to which I subscribe.

So, it is no surprise that this week is all about soccer and the World Cup.  I played soccer for at least half of my life, and I drove to soccer most of the other half.  Yay for the World Cup.

  A funny from our friends at Fibrex Group.

But, there's more going on out there too.  For example, turtles.  Turtles, you ask?  Yes, turtles.  Facebook (or at least my feed) is all about these days - all those little hatchlings whose nesting environments were tended and protected since about March are now heading to the sea.  They've defied tremendous odds, and obviously there's more obstacles on the horizon, but the inspiration in their journey thus far is inspiring.  There are loads of stories of success and progress, many of them in Virginia.

Part of the "hype" is because last week was World Sea Turtle Day, not to be confused with World Turtle Day, which was in May.  My own little turtle story is this.  A box turtle planted herself in our crabgrassed backyard.  Over the course of an entire Saturday, in full sun, she dug.  We knew what she was up to, so we erected a little lawn marking near her so as not to step or mow on her special spot in the future.

How is this the least bit relevant to parks and recreation?  As the saying goes, "if you build it, they will come."  If you build the opportunity to engage a community in what is of interest at the time, give them a venue and inspiration by which to learn more and grow, they will come.  My son, who is fourteen - a very difficult age to please and captivate - was jazzed.  Hmm ... I thought ... I need to look for programs in my area to foster this interest of his ....

By the way, the little future box turtles didn't make it.  By next evening, momma's eggs had been unearthed, their shells scattered about, victims of the food chain.  But that's the best part - the food chain is at play and doing it's thing.  Hmm ... I'm thinking ... I need to learn more about backyard wildlife habitats ....

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