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Parks and Recreation facts for kids

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Parks and Recreation is a television sitcom. It was on TV from April 9, 2009 to February 24, 2015, with a special reunion episode airing on April 30, 2020. During this time, it showed 126 episodes over seven seasons. It ran on the channel NBC. It was created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The show is about a group of people who live in a fictional town called Pawnee in the state of Indiana. They work in the government of Pawnee, in the Department of Parks and Recreation. The main character of the show is Leslie Knope. She is an optimistic person who loves her job and the city of Pawnee. The actress who plays her is Amy Poehler. There are many other characters in the show. They are: Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones), Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider), Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe), Jerry Gergich (Jim O'Heir), Donna Meagle (Retta), and Craig Middlebrooks (Billy Eichner).

The series changed as time went on. The writers wanted to make the show like real life. To do this, they learned about how governments of cities really worked. They also talked about current political issues in episodes of the show. For example, one episode has the government of Pawnee shut down. This means that there is not enough money for the government to work correctly, so it stops doing everything that is not very important. The writers put this in the show because of a real government shutdown. The real shutdown happened because of a financial crisis in 2007-2008, and this was the same time that the episode was being written. Sometimes, real politicians also acted on the show. Joe Biden, John McCain, and Michelle Obama were some of the politicians who did this. The characters in the show also changed. Some people watched the first season and thought that Leslie Knope was too "ditzy"—that is, unintelligent and unable to do her job correctly. So the writers changed the way they showed Leslie. They wanted viewers to know she really was smart. During the show, many of the characters have changing romantic relationships and get different jobs. They changed just like people change in real life.

The first season only had six episodes. It got mixed reviews. People thought some things about it were good, and some things about it were bad. Many people thought it was too much like The Office. Like Parks and Recreation, The Office was another sitcom that Daniels and Schur created. But after the first season, it got positive reviews. Many people thought it was good, and it won many awards. It was nominated for an Emmy Award 14 times. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series -- Musical or Comedy. It won a Golden Globe Award for the good job Poehler did playing Leslie Knope.


  • Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, is Pro-Government and seems Centre-left in politics, is the main character and the heart of the show who dreams of becoming president.
  • Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman, is an Anti-Government Libertarian, who is a bit lazy and strange at times but also has a big heart and is at times very friendly on the show.
  • April Ludgate, played by Aubrey Plaza, is a negative and dark character on the show who rarely loves anything, but she is at times hard working and friendly, but wants to be lazy and rude.
  • Ann Perkins, played by Rashida Jones, is the best friend of Leslie Knope and works on and off for the parks department. She is a regular, normal, and friendly person, besides choosing bad boyfriends at times.
  • Andy Dwyer, played by Chris Pratt, is ridiculous and is dumb at times. He is married to April, and has a reputation for making bad choices.
  • Ben Wyatt, played by Adam Scott, is the spouse of Leslie and is a coworker in Pawnee's Parks and Recreation Department. Wyatt is friendly and smart, but can be a little negative at times.
  • Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari, is an annoying but funny on-and-of coworker, who chooses the wrong choices at times and might care a little too much on the attractiveness of women.
  • Mark Brendanawicz, played by Paul Schneider, is at times ill-mannered and at times affectionate, and left the show after the second season.
  • Jerry Gergich, played by Jim O'Heir, is clumsy and at times embarrassing, but also smart and is a good painter. He is laughed at and mildly hated by his coworkers, even though he might be the nicest person there.
  • Tammy Swanson, played by Patricia Clarkson, is better resembled as Tammy I, and is the first wife of Ron Swanson, who is a wannabe mind controller and is sneaky and gets Ron in bad situations just to go out again.
  • Chris Traeger, played by Rob Lowe, is an always-positive, healthy (part of his health consciousness), and known for how many times he says literally.
  • Craig Middlebrooks, played by Billy Eichner, is the character who came in in the 6th season, from Eagleton, to Pawnee, to work for the parks department. He is a sommelier.
  • Donna Meagle, played by Retta, is related to Ginuwine and a smart character from the parks department who is in almost every episode.
  • Councilman Jeremy Jamm, played by John Glaser, is an orthodontist who was a member of Leslie's city council, dated Tammy II, and is slightly authoritarian.
  • Justin Anderson, played by Justin Theroux, temporally dated Leslie in the second season, and escaped on Galentine's Day.
  • Tynnyfer, played by June Diane Raphael, is a friend of April and a sassy, picky, negative, but humorous character.
  • Jennifer Barkley, played by Kathryn Hahn, was the campaign manager for Bobby Newport, has an on and off friendship between Leslie Knope and Ben.
  • Carl Lorthner, played by Andy Samberg, is the screaming member of the parks security department. He likes snacks and likes to be outside.
  • Ron Dunn, played by Sam Elliott, is a counterpart of Ron Swanson and is the complete opposite of Ron Swanson. Dunn temporarily became head of the parks department before Ron Swanson was restored to the position.
  • Burly, played by Andrew Burlinson, also known as Puppy Hating Dan, is the guitarist in Mouse Rat, Andy Dwyer's band. He gets pranked when pop tarts are found in his underwear drawer, and he is angry back.
  • Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, played by Ben Schwartz, is the millionaire friend of Tom Haverford who is terribly hilarious. He sings the viral song Flushed with Cash.
  • Marlene Griggs-Knope, played by Pamela Reed, is the mother of Leslie Knope.
  • Mindy Marfan, played by Katie Dippold, is the old friend of Leslie Knope who then became enemies after her move to Eagleton and her angrier/spoiled behavior in later life.

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