May 10, 2019
By Kayla Bri Simon
As a kid who goes to my local park in Canarsie, Brooklyn, a lot, I’m so excited that spring is finally here. It’s almost nice enough for me to leave my winter coat at home when I go with my mom.
But sometimes when I go to other parks, I feel disappointed by the amount of litter on the ground, the overfilled garbage cans or no garbage cans at all. If the parks were cleaner, it would be so much nicer for my mom and me, and all the other people who the city’s spaces to exercise and enjoy time outside.
Since joining the Girl Scouts five years ago, I’ve learned how important our environment is, and how I can be an advocate for it. I always knew breathing clean air was good, and litter was bad, but Girl Scouts taught me how each piece of the environment connects to everything else. What goes on at my park in Canarsie has an effect on the environment as far away as the Bronx!
That’s why I’m happy that Girl Scouts of Greater New York has joined New Yorkers for Parks and other groups as part of the Play Fair Coalition to ask the mayor to spend more city money on our parks and outdoor spaces.
Parks are an important part of our city. The parks are one place in New York where everyone is equal. We all use the same basketball courts, soccer fields, and walking paths. When I’m in the parks, I feel more free and able to explore. When parks are not clean and safe, people have to find other places to exercise and spend time, and that’s too bad.
If our parks had more funding from the city, we could make sure every park has enough garbage cans for all the trash, and workers to empty them. Maybe we could even get some rubber mats around all of the playground equipment to make sure we’re all safe when we play.
Girl Scouts has taught me that I can make a difference when I use my voice and say what I believe. I hope the mayor will pay attention to organizations like the Girl Scouts of Greater New York and other members of the Play Fair Coalition by providing important funding for parks this year and beyond, so that future generations of kids like me can continue to enjoy our parks for years to come.
Kayla is a 10-year-old member of Girl Scouts of Greater New York Troop 2054 based in Canarsie, Brooklyn.