Seven of Luton’s parks now hold a Green Flag Award - the national quality award for parks and green space – as a result of the town’s long and continuous history of park improvement.
Today’s parks have to accommodate a wide range of opportunities to meet the needs of the local community. Involving the community in decisions about their local parks and green space is a great way to ensure that these needs are considered. In the current financial climate this provides opportunities to secure additional funding for improvements and events to get people out and active in the great outdoors.
The Friends are a like minded group of people who initially became friends of their local parks or green spaces and were later invited and encouraged by the council to form a wider 'umbrella' group covering the whole of Luton.
A constitution has been written and agreed and the group was formally launched in September 2009 under its name of the Luton Friends of Parks & Green Spaces (LFPGS).
The aim of the LFPGS is to represent groups with an interest in council managed parks and green spaces, and those green spaces not owned by LBC but are accessed by the public and have a Friends Group.
The objectives include:
The group is formed from representatives of other local area friends groups and user groups (eg Friends of Manor Park, Luton Federation of Allotment and Leisure Gardens) and a 'managing' committee of the whole group meets around six times a year.
The local groups are comprised mainly of people that live within a short distance of a particular park or open space or those who use it regularly or have a particular interest in a specific park.
The LFPGS umbrella group is formed from representatives of these local friends’ groups so that ideas and experiences can be shared across the town and to encourage the formation of local groups where none exist already.
Council officers who have an interest in community activity and making improvements within our parks and green spaces (the parks service particularly) join in as the need arises. The elected councillor holding the portfolio containing parks and green spaces also takes a keen interest in the activities of the group.
If you are interested in joining one of the existing groups (listed below) or would like to help with the formation of a new group, then please email email@example.com.
Pictures are courtesy of Luton Friends of Parks and Open Spaces.