The Monmouth County Park System

TASK: Bring a fresh approach to a series of newsletters produced by one of the country's busiest county park systems.

CHALLENGE: Park materials were often overlooked by people who thought they knew everything about the park system, or those who thought there was nothing in the system for them.

SOLUTION: Tell the story of the park system with more magazine-style writing, and stories that pertain to the public interest.

Monmouth County, New Jersey, is one of the most densely populated counties in the country. With 30 parks featuring golf, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, and beaches, the system draws visitors not only from within the county, but a large number of daytrippers from New York City and its suburbs. As the Public Information Assistant for the Monmouth County Park System, I was primarily responsible for the myriad of newsletters and brochures distributed throughout the system.

The story for the park system focuses on the importance of managed care of "green space", and the necessity of balancing multi-use public lands with open spaces and field areas. While the park system produced several newsletters to highlight people and events in the parks, discuss county referendums affecting park funding, explain the need and progress for park changes and improvements, it was often done in a dry manner, not exactly reflective of the "fun experience" associated with the parks.

One of the newsletters that I edited was Green Heritage, the system's bi-monthly public newsletter. For this newsletter. I tried to bring a lighter, magazine-style approach to both the article topics and writing.
I was also responsible for writing and editing Green Link, the bi-monthly employee newsletter. I applied a similar approach to this publication as well. After all, the park system's hundreds of employees are also park users.
I also edited two special interest newsletters for the park system, one for gardeners and one for golfers. These served to reinforce the story of managed green space, while addressing issues from a specific angle.