Westchester Parks Foundation, formerly known as Friends of Westchester County Parks, has unveiled its new website that reflects a rebranding imitative announced earlier last month. The rebranded website can be found by visiting www.theWPF.org.
According to Joe Stout, Executive Director, the Westchester Parks Foundation name better reflects the not-for-profit organization’s mission. More people value their local parks then they have in the past and studies continue to show that regional parks contribute to the economic impact of their communities. These were major factors as Friends of Westchester County Parks’ considered changing its name to Westchester Parks Foundation.
Before making the change in May, the nearly 40-year old organization looked at research by the National Recreation and Park Association, which recently released a study comparing park goers habits and attitudes in 1992 and 2015. The organization says that in order to support the county parks, they needed to be able to appeal to the widest possible base, and to do that, they needed to understand how public perception has changed since we started this organization back in 1977. They found that while parks were more relevant than ever to people’s lives, public perception and use has changed.
Attitudes also changed. While there was a 10 percent drop (from 47% in 1992 to 37% in 2015) in the number of people who said they benefited from the parks somewhat, that was nearly made up for by the number who said they benefitted greatly (+9 %). Despite this, public support for the parks remained high with 92 percent of people surveyed saying that parks benefitted the entire community.
This is good news because it shows that parks are near and dear to people. The new name, the Westchester Parks Foundation, appeals to a wider population of potential donors who recognize that a thriving parks system adds to the quality of life in Westchester, whether they use the parks every day or just once a year.
Thompson & Bender was recently honored at the Power of Parks! Annual Gala for the rebranding and public relations work.