SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Trust for Public Land today announced October 10 is National Walk to a Park Day. This day will bring people together to walk to their nearest park and encourages them to contact local officials to advocate for local parks.
"National Walk to a Park Day is a day to celebrate the parks we have and call attention to the parks we need," said Diane Regas, president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land. "Parks boost our mental and physical health, keep our cities cooler, protect our neighborhoods from storms and floods, and bring our communities together. Everyone deserves a great park within a 10-minute walk of home."
Currently, 1 in 3 people in the United States do not have a park within a 10-minute walk of home, including 28 million children. Studies show that high-quality parks provide a wide range of benefits to urban residents and cities themselves. These include physical and mental health benefits, by providing opportunities to be physically active and to interact with nature; economic benefits by boosting business and helping to revitalize neighborhoods; community-building benefits by providing opportunities for neighbors to interact with each other and work together to improve their surroundings; and environmental benefits by cleaning and cooling the air, improving climate resilience, and providing opportunities for environmental education.
To that end, more than 200 of the nation's most influential mayors joined The Trust for Public Land, National Recreation and Park Association, and Urban Land Institute in launching the "10-minute walk" campaign, establishing the ambitious goal that all Americans should have a quality park or green space within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of home.
Reaching that goal will require innovative policies and approaches, like advances in park finance and construction; zoning changes to encourage park development; embedding this goal into city parks master plans; and the expansion of "joint use" agreements that open school playgrounds, tracks, and gyms for public use after hours and on weekends.
Who has access to parks, and who doesn't?
The Trust for Public Land's ParkServe database (www.parkserve.tpl.org) generates detailed information about local park systems, including:
- Total number and location of all parks within city limits
- Percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park and how that compares to the national average
- Customizable, printable, and shareable GIS-generated maps that residents can use to advocate for effective park investments
In addition to reporting data for 14,000 municipalities, www.parkserve.tpl.org lets users sort information by demographic factors, such as income, ethnicity, and age. This deep analysis helps measure park equity and identifies ways to fix inequities.
Ways to participate:
Pledge to join National Walk to a Park Day to raise awareness for local parks, and be entered in a drawing to win a national parks pass and an outdoor gear prize package. And for every pledge, Hydro Flask's Parks for All program will donate $1 to build parks where they're needed most.
The Trust for Public Land president and CEO Diane Regas will convene a Twitter chat about the power of parks to address cities' most pressing challenges. Follow @diane_regas and join the conversation at 10:10 a.m. Pacific Time on October 10.
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
SOURCE The Trust for Public Land