Letter: Partnerships in our city parks

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your report 'Rundown of city parks 'threatens urban heritage' ' (26 October) is right to highlight both the spiritual importance of these urban spaces and their potential to develop 'new citizenship notions'. In many American cities, citizens volunteer to plant and maintain their parks: in New York City, volunteers tend grass, restore lakes and welcome visitors. In Philadelphia, neighbourhood parks are a focal point for the community.

In Islington, north London, the Culpeper Community Garden, constructed planted and maintained by local residents, shows it can happen here. What is needed is a greater willingness from municipal parks departments to work in partnership with citizens to ensure that the pounds 1bn spent annually on their upkeep achieves maximum feasible impact and ensures that everyone feels safe enough to visit them.

Yours sincerely ELISABETH HOODLESS Executive Director Community Service Volunteers London, N1 (Photograph omitted)

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