Love Your Community

Love Your Community

In this day in age, our communities function as a gateway to our quality of life. We all have a passion for something. One of the great things about cities and small towns is that all have a different quality of life. Each community has history they are proud of and not so proud of. One thing is for sure, we are diverse.

John F. Kennedy in Grand Prairie
John F. Kennedy in Grand Prairie, TX (GP Historical Society photo credit)

Thanks to my amazing community of Grand Prairie Texas, population of almost 194,000 and the 15th largest city in Texas, I have seen only the beginning of what truly will become a destination to remember. See I bring a unique perspective when it comes to seeing what Grand Prairie was and what it is becoming. By no means did I actually grow up here, although probably would have been cool, but I am approaching 14 years working full time for the City of Grand Prairie. I honestly don’t think there is a more diverse community than Grand Prairie. Yes, I am a little biased.

GP Main Street Fest
GP Main Street Fest

Grand Prairie’s Main Street Fest is coming up soon at the end of April on Friday through Sunday, April 26-28th. The Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Department that I am a staff member of puts on over 50 special events throughout the year for the community. We have many cultural events, memorial events and much more.

I share this because not many cities and communities do the volume of what Grand Prairie does. I mentioned before that communities are all different and each have a special program they are proud of. That is why I believe we have the great profession around. Every community puts on programs that fit their community demographics and culture. What works in one community does not necessarily work in another. Parks and Recreation is a field of trials and errors. That is what we are about. Building community, connecting families with their park system, and most importantly, finding activities for all ages to enjoy.

Many of you out there many have never heard of Grand Prairie. I am proud to work, recreate and change lives there. According to About.com, Grand Prairie is actually located in 3 separate counties. We are a suburb of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

Grand Prairie is also a proud two time winner (2008 and 2017) of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Gold Medal Award for the population of 150,001-400,000. You can read more about this incredible achievement here.

Have you taken a moment to explore your community that you live in? Do you know the amenities that you community offers? I think you will be surprised the resources it may have. You don’t know until you explore. I challenge you to take a weekend and explore your community. Each community has it’s own significant landmark or place in history that helps people identify what it is.

Prairie Lights
Prairie Lights, courtesy of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Dept.

Grand Prairie is exploding with recreational activities. We also have special holiday events like Prairie Lights, the Main Street Fest event I mentioned earlier, our Veterans Memorial honoring all of our branches of military service.

Love your community for the amenities it has. Love your community and go make a difference there. Volunteering in different areas of the community is also a favorite of many.

Now as you get to know me, you will realize that I celebrate milestones and achievements. I am probably one of the few that absolutely loves my profession. If you read my bio, you know that I went to school at Texas A&M University and majored in Recreation Administration. I am proudly doing what I set out to do and still love it to this day. My goodness though, the time sure goes fast. Take a moment and enjoy your community wherever that may be. The potential may be right at your doorstep and you just didn’t know it. Things may be bigger in Texas (so the saying goes), however, there are so many communities making a difference in their citizens. Reach out and learn about yours. You may be surprised what might be in store for you.

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Michael is a contributor on topics involving recreation trends, City of Grand Prairie Texas news, Toastmasters, Aggie updates, personal development and more.