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Community Connections

I was looking for something to watch the other night on Netflix and I somehow stumbled onto a show about places on Earth where people live the longest. The host of the show was documenting the behaviors and culture of the people who lived in these places to see if there were things we can do to extend our lifespans. It was interesting to watch, especially as someone in their early 30’s who isn’t really thinking about how far into their 100’s they want to live, but what really stuck out to me wasn’t about diet or exercise, it was the importance of creating a community with purpose in your everyday life.

As someone who works in communications, I’m connected to social media and a screen for most of the time that I’m awake. It’s a constant cycle of answering emails and messages, checking trends and watching numbers. Even with all of that “interaction” I wouldn’t say that I feel a sense of community from that aspect of my job. Instead, the community comes from the face-to-face in person interactions that I’m lucky to get to have through our programs and projects. It’s where you’re really able to see the impact that Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation makes in our area and get a deeper understanding of how what we do can impact the lives of those around us.

I know I said that the exercise part didn’t really stick out to me, but I can’t help but think about the people you see when you go on a walk. One of the points made in the show was about walking groups and forming a mini community between friends and doing healthy activities like walking. When you go for a walk on a popular path like along the river from Idlewild to downtown, or around the Sparks Marina, it’s rare that you see a person with a frown on their face. People who you’ve never seen will smile and tell you “Good Morning” or give a small wave. With our Discover Your Parks and Truckee Meadows Trails Challenge programs, you’re able to build onto those connections with strangers and create a community through experiencing our parks and trails together. Yes, the exercise you get from being outside is important, but the mental health benefits of connecting with others in our community can be just as important.

Our community has needs that you can only understand when you get face to face with other people. We’re a community that cares about accessibility in the outdoors. We’re a community that appreciates public art projects. We look for recreation opportunities in hiking, biking or even just taking a walk with a four legged friend. A love and appreciation of parks, trails and outdoor spaces is something many people share, and through those shared feelings we can connect with others around us to create a healthier, more vibrant community.


About the Author

Matt is the Communications Manager for Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. After serving with TMPF as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2017 he worked to promote AmeriCorps programs throughout Nevada for four years and is excited to be back at the place that started his journey in the nonprofit world. Matt studied Radio Television Production at the University of Montana and brings over a decade of experience to the TMPF communications team. When he isn't working you can find Matt watching baseball, hiking with his family, or being pulled behind a boat.

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Jul 04
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

While social media and digital interactions are prevalent, they don't quite capture the essence of community that in-person experiences through programs like Discover Your Parks and Truckee Meadows Trails Challenge offer. Tiny Fishing



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