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Our Two Year Anniversary: All I Can Say Is Thank YOU!

Our Two Year Anniversary: All I Can Say Is Thank YOU!

Play. April 2010 marks the two year anniversary of this site and I thought a round of thanks is the best way to honor the occasion. Without YOU this blog wouldn’t be what it is.

THANK YOU. Because YOU are the one I’m talking to when I sit down at the computer on quiet mornings before the kids get up. YOU are the one I’m thinking about when we’re out at a great play place and I can’t wait to get back and tell YOU about it. YOU make it all worthwhile with your comments that make me laugh, smile and sometimes cry. I’ve always said, “If I can just get one mom out there playing at a new park with her kid then I’ll be happy.”  So when YOU write me and tell me about your fun, I can’t even tell you how great that makes me feel!

Thanks to everyone who’s ever recommended a park. Five of you never shared your names – but recommended a park just the same. I wanted to thank the rest of you by name: Connie, Samantha, Kelly M., Mary S., Susie, Danielle, Becky, Staci, Erin, Shuree, Carrie, Hollie, Scott, and Shannon. Lisa gets a special pat on the back for 4 recommendations! Jen of Tiny Oranges, Sharlene of Double the Adventure, Michelle of OC Moms Facebook Group, Aracely from DaytrippingMom, and Kelly of Just Spotted kindly sent me their favorites, too.

Before Dara came on board as a writer, she recommended a number of parks. Now she’s an indispensable partner in this project.  I don’t know how I made any decisions without her!

Thanks to all the OC Bloggers. There are even more bloggers to meet on the  BlogCrush Orange County group started by Suzanne and Marcy. They’ve shared their secrets and given support. It’s an especially talented and friendly group. Every link and mention is appreciated.

Thanks to OC’s outdoor heroes. I think Marisa from the OFFICIAL  OCParks.com is incredible. She’s does a fantastic job promoting all the parks have to offer. Joe at OCExplorer.com and Cindy at CAOpenSpace.org have a passion for the outdoors they want to share with others be it for hiking, trail running, or simply exploring the back country. Get Outdoors! OC is working to inspire families to explore the outdoors together. And I’ve already told you about the incredible effort to create the Nature Scene Investigator Guidebook.

Thanks to talented OC photographers and friends. Noel of Bosh Images and Mali of Mali Workman Photography are so nice and supportive — and responsible for the logo photo and our avatars (as well as many other photos used throughout the site). JennerRose provided Play Day photos back in September 2009.

Thanks to the non-profits for reaching out. It’s amazing to make such personal connections with large national non-profits. KaBOOM.org is a national non-profit campaigning for play. Their mission is a playground within walking distance of every child. The National Wildlife Federation supports a Green Hour every day – encouraging kids to play outdoors in nature.  The Children and Nature Network works to prevent “nature-deficit disorder” starting a grassroots effort encouraging the formation of family nature clubs and pushing the No Child Left Inside agenda. The California State Parks Foundation is working to save our state park system and keeping it preserved for future generations.

Thanks to the Playground Bloggers. We’re global!  England, Canada, New Jersey, and North San Diego County. Special thanks to Alex of Playgroundology for taking the lead with the playground group, to Lori of North San Diego Playgrounds for taking on the idea in her neighborhood, and to my “east coast twin” Sheila.

Thanks to my #playoutdoors Twitter buddies. Such an inspirational group of people sharing their original and creative ideas, links to important resources, and sincere online friendships (@goexplorenature, @balmeras, @alisonkerr, @backyardmama, @littlehumbugs, @activekidsclub, @salisburydowns, @vickiehler, @adventuroo, @wildobs and many more)! Their websites are on the Nature and Play Resources page.   There are even Twitter buddies outside the group who know what I’m into and make a point to share info with me. Many link back to our site on their nature-friendly blogs.

And many more thanks. . . Thanks to Shannon Dow of Eight Crazy Designs for the 2nd incarnation of the site (Play Parks Central – before this current version). Thanks to the many different websites with tutorials and templates which made it possible to customize this version to fit the content and make it easier for YOU to find parks.  Thanks to Lisa at OrangeCountyParent.com, the OrangeCountyResourceGuide.com, CityMommy.com and countless other websites for linking back here for their park info.

My biggest thanks goes to my supportive family. The kids think I have the “best job in the world.”  They make it the best job in the world for me! I don’t talk much about Mr. Play Parks. Not only is he with us on many adventures, he’s the reason we get to take adventures. He puts in the long weekday work hours, so I can be home with the kids. Beyond all that, he’s my “yes” man never doubting my ideas. He’s my best buddy and true love. We make a great team — no post would be possible without some sacrifice from him. And that leads me to my own Mom and Dad who are awesome behind-the-scenes cheerleaders. Dad is my chief proofreader and humorist. Mom always comments on my sappy posts. My sis and family are out there playing every day and spreading the word about the site.

All these connections have made my life and this website so much richer! Thanks for everything!

Joe Anzenberger

Tuesday 13th of April 2010

Lots of thanks to you too, Michele. What you've brought to the community is inspiring, thoughtful, and kind. The world is a better place because of you.

Marghanita Hughes

Monday 12th of April 2010

Congratulations on your 2 year anniversary. I feel incredibly fortunate to have you as a Twitter Buddie. I love your passion and commitment -your an inspiration Michelle.

Terri

Sunday 11th of April 2010

As usual, your enthusiasm, skill with words and dedication brings tears to my eyes. Congratulations!

Debi

Sunday 11th of April 2010

Many thanks to you, Michele, for working as hard as you do to get your message out there & for supporting those of us trying to do the same. I feel so lucky to have met you & look forward to our future outdoor adventures. Heartfelt congratulations to you on two awesome years! :) .-= Debi´s last blog ..Fun Friday: Embrace the Wind =-.