(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- Volunteers will gather for Global Youth Service Day to help plant, paint and refurbish play areas on Saturday, April 21, 2012, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., at Country Village Park, 6550 NW 188 Terrace, in Miami. The volunteer service project, hosted and coordinated by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan, AARP, Miami Dade College's Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy, and Service For Peace, was made possible by sponsors and a Youth Service America's 2012 Disney Friends for Change Grant.
The event will begin with opening remarks by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan, and dignitaries from the various host organizations. The project consists of painting around the recreation center, landscaping projects, replenishing the sand in the playground area, and general park clean-up. In addition, new basketball hoops will be purchased and set up in the park, which currently does not have basketball courts, providing more play areas to neighboring community children and participants of the park's after-school program.
Approximately 100 volunteers are expected from the various organizations, youth from the park's out-of-school program and their parents, the neighboring community, and members of Boy Scout Troop 712.
A key player in helping the Parks Foundation obtain the Disney Friends for Change Grant is Daniel Fernandez, age 7, a participant of the park's after-school program and an active member of Boy Scout Troop 712 who is the Project Leader for this Global Service Youth Day project, mentored by Angie Gomez, Volunteer Coordinator for Miami-Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.
"As a Boy Scout who goes to Country Village Park with my group, I'm glad I can help make it a great place," said Fernandez. "Every child should have the chance to play basketball, play in a clean and safe playground, and go to a great park," he added.
"Country Village Park is one of the jewels of this community," said Commissioner Barbara Jordan. "That is why we are polishing and cleaning it. We're treating it just as you would any precious keepsake."
"Our institution looks forward to this great civic engagement opportunity, where millions of youth around the world will join together and in solidarity to make a positive difference and take a role in civic participation," said Harold Silva, Director of Miami Dade College's Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy, North/Hialeah Campus.
Individuals, businesses and organizations interested in volunteering or sponsoring the Global Service Youth Day project, or for future volunteer projects at parks across the county, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Angie Gomez at 305-961-2781.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 34.5 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
About Service For Peace, Miami Office
Service For Peace - Miami Office is a nonprofit organization that engages Miami's diverse population in service-learning opportunities by connecting people to peace through service and creating Communities of Peace throughout our Greater Miami community.
About Miami Dade College's Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy
Miami Dade College's Center for Community Involvement is becoming the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy as its mission is Transforming learning, strengthening democracy and contributing meaningfully to the common good by awakening and empowering students for lifelong civic engagement.
About the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade Parks call 3-1-1 or visit Miami-Dade Parks.
About the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade
The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors. Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.
Monies raised through membership and fundraising efforts help fund: scholarships for disadvantaged children to attend after-school and summer camp programs; recreational and community programs, such as disability services and health and wellness initiatives for people of all ages; and Parks Open Space Master Plan initiatives, such as the development of trailways, bikeways and safe access to parks and open spaces throughout Miami. For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit Parks Foundation Miami.