Using CDC’s park access measures, Five Rivers MetroParks of Dayton, Ohio evaluated access to its Five Rivers MetroParks for residents within a half mile radius of the parks. This method included looking at proximity to parks, walking access to parks, and park connectivity.
San Francisco recently commemorated the great success of being the first city in the nation where every resident lives within a 10-minute walk to a park. It is, indeed, a great feat worth celebrating. But not every 10-minute walk is the same.
Friends of Hemming Park, a nonprofit organization was contracted by the City of Jacksonville in 2014 to manage Jacksonville’s oldest public park. Since our inception, we implemented placemaking projects and brought regular amenities and programming to the park. Although great things have happened in Hemming Park, the park has also had some recent challenges.
Elected officials and community leaders gathered a few weeks ago in a warm spring rain to celebrate Oregon’s immigrant cultures and welcome new refugee families. “Can you imagine what it means to leave your homes, schools, jobs, pets and loved lands without your fault?” asked Som Nath Subedi, Program coordinator for Parks for New Portlanders, which hosted the event at Bloomington Park.
The City of Fontana and the Fontana Unified School District has created opportunities for stakeholders in the community to collaborate to improve community services. One success story is being able to provide summer meals to youth (through the Summer Food Service Program) while being able to create and provide recreational opportunities that unite parties together.
According to a recent report by the City Budget Office, roughly 15% of Portlanders were born in countries other than the United States– that puts the Rose City right in line with about 50 other large U.S. cities. Unfortunately, for many of our newest Portland citizens, parks and community centers are literally a foreign concept. That is where one of Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s newest programs, Parks for New Portlanders, steps up to welcome immigrant and refugee families into our public park spaces and programs.
On Saturday, January 16, Baseball Hall of Fame member Mike Schmidt and the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation, in partnership with the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, unveiled Palm Beach County’s first BrightGuard™ Sunscreen Dispenser at the South Florida Fair and encouraged fairgoers to protect themselves from the sun's harmful UV rays.
In 2014, Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) received the Commit to Health Out-of-School Time Grant from the Walmart Foundation and the National Recreation and Park Association. Funds allowed GCPR to introduce a new set of program tools to our summer camps along with the establishment of new community partners.
Stories from Small Towns is a project of the National Physical Activity Society. The objective of the project is to demonstrate that structural changes to make walking easier can be carried out in America’s thousands of small towns and not just its big cities. The project focuses on advice from towns that have made some changes, with the aim of inspiring town leaders across the country to see such infrastructure as possible and worthy. The following are stories from small towns that have focused on parks as a key to walkability.
Representatives from Imagination International, Inc., the River Road Park District, and Lane Transit District, along with local elementary school students gathered at Emerald Park in Eugene for the official dedication ceremony for the River Road Park Imagination Bus, or "Artie" as it has been affectionately dubbed.
Launching in December 2013, West Valley Veterans were invited to participate in a new fitness program for veterans recovering from physical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The fitness program called ‘ActiVet’ is held at the Rio Vista Recreation Center in Peoria, Arizona.
The USA Swimming Foundation conducted a survey and found that a large percentage of minorities had low rates of swimming ability. In Prince George’s County located in Maryland, the staff at Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission found this to be true in their highly diverse community. Over 80% of Prince George’s County’s citizens represent minorities. Given those demographics, MNCPP staff developed a pilot program in partnership with Prince George’s County Schools aimed at teaching minority children about the basics of swimming as well as water hazards.
The Portland Park and Recreation Department’s World Cup Soccer Tournament has been in existence since 2010 and is a dream realized about the city of Portland. It sends a message about the changing demographics of the city as well as the future of America. The tournament brings together youth, parents and communities to celebrate cultural traditions and diversity, gain access to city resources, and open the door for dialogue between the Portland Community and the City of Portland.
An initiative of LIveWell Colorado, the HEAL Cities & Towns Campaign has been successful in supporting local governments to develop and implement policies that support what essentially the NRPA Out of School Time grant seeks to support across the continuum of health.
The City of Syracuse Department of Parks and Recreation was one of 50 agencies to receive an NRPA and the Walmart Foundation’s Out-of-School Time Programs grants last year. Syracuse was able to use the funding to support programming by building partnerships within the community aimed at engaging more children and families as well as encouraging the adoption of healthy eating and physical activity (HEPA) standards within their program sites.
A group of committed, concerned people in Tulsa, Oklahoma organized a partnership to address their community’s health. The Parks and Recreation Department, the Children’s Campfire Organization, YMCA, and the local health department collaboratively assessed the needs of their city and identified employers as a target audience for environmental changes.
Nearly all of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was evacuated in 1997 because of severe flooding. The physical devastation was on a grand scale, as was the economic and emotional toll of this disaster. But rebuilding the town became an opportunity for new partnerships and a new vision for the community.
A detailed community assessment and input from a variety of local stakeholders allowed the city of La Mirada, California to set lofty goals for improving health. With plenty of room for improvement locally, a collaborative group targeted workplaces as a site for beginning a culture change.