Of the goals highlighted in the City of Sandusky’s Bicentennial Strategic Vision, one stands out as being particularly impactful upon the city and its residents: the goal of being a Livable City. In order to do that, the city outlines a variety of ways in which it intends to make itself livable, through focuses on housing and community development. Building community has always been close to the core of what makes Sandusky such a wonderful place to call home, and continued prioritization of residents and their role as both neighbors and friends will ensure it is a wonderful place for years to come.

The Strategic Vision specifically lists that the City should “support existing neighborhood groups and facilitate neighborhood events, improvement projects, park planning, clean-ups, and other activities.” In order to reinforce efforts currently in place to meet this objective, the city will work with departments, including Planning, Recreation, and Public Works to create a comprehensive Friends of Sandusky Parks Program. This program will develop strong and long-lasting relationships amongst community members as they work together to produce a better Sandusky.

The Friends of Sandusky Parks Program relies on groups of community members to maintain and improve the condition of some of the parks in Sandusky. The groups are asked to adhere to programming guidelines, and in return, can be equipped with tools and support from the City. These community members act as supplemental caretakers of the parks, but do not replace any of the preexisting care already being done by the City. At the end of each cycle, which runs from April to October, a successful Friends of Sandusky Parks project has the potential to be acknowledged with permanent signage in the park. The names of those responsible will remain posted as a gesture of appreciation for their hard work.

A successful city has a strong balance of both community involvement and staff support, and by creating and sustaining programs such as the Friends of Sandusky Parks, the City of Sandusky can enrich that connection. Improving the conditions of parks and providing additional opportunities to get people involved in their own neighborhoods allows for an increased sense of pride and attachment to the place residents call home, in addition to meeting goals set forth by the Bicentennial Strategic Vision.