City Parks Alliance to Participate in First National Study of Urban Parks and Physical Activity
Washington, DC — City Parks Alliance has received funding to participate in a four-year study with the RAND Corporation to determine the correlation between urban parks management and policies, and physical activity. This will be the first national longitudinal study of neighborhood parks to observe park use in order to shape public policy on health promotion. The research is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
The primary aims of the research are to identify and disseminate best practices. This study differs from others in that the researchers will employ systematic observation protocols to measure actual park use so there will be a common yardstick across cities.
25 U.S. cities have been randomly selected to participate, with two hundred parks included in the survey. The cities include: Fresno, CA; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Victorville, CA; Pueblo, CO; Westminster, CO; Columbus, GA; Gainesville, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, KS; Topeka, KS; Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Area, KY; Flint, MI; St. Louis, MO; Winston-Salem, NC; Lincoln, NE; Manchester, NH; Albuquerque, NM; Buffalo, NY; New York, NY; Yonkers, NY; Cleveland, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; Waco, TX; and Dallas, TX.
The project will train a cadre of park professionals and members of community-based organizations that support neighborhood parks to act as “citizen scientists” and collect objective data. Engaging these citizen scientists in the research process is intended to increase local capacity to reliably measure park management practices, park characteristics, park use, and physical activity. They will each observe activity in neighborhood parks, between three and 15 acres in size.
To view the full press release, please click here.
City Parks Alliance Applauds Secretary Jewell's Speech in Support of Urban Park Investment and LWCF
Washington, DC — City Parks Alliance commends Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell for her remarks at the National Press Club in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and for the Interior Department’s initiative to connect future generations with our nation’s public parklands, including in urban areas.
“We applaud the Secretary’s strong support for full funding and reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund that provides critical funds for conservation, including urban lands for public enjoyment and recreation,” said City Parks Alliance Executive Director Catherine Nagel. “Continued federal support for urban parks is a critical step in assuring that our nation’s young people have opportunity and access to play and learn in the outdoors.”
The Land and Water Conservation Fund’s “state side” grant program has enhanced the quality of life for urban residents and sustained local economies by funding the creation of more than 42,000 state and local projects including parks, playgrounds, urban wildlife refuges, greenways, trails and open space in all 50 states, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. In fact, more than 98% of the counties in the nation have a park project funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Seventy-six percent of the total funds obligated have gone to locally sponsored projects providing close-to-home recreation opportunities that are readily accessible to America's urban residents.
The LWCF’s state and local grant program was an essential resource for improving access to green spaces in urban communities when it was fully funded in the 1960s and 1970s. However, in recent years the state grant program has only been funded at a fraction of its authorized levels, severely limiting the program’s ability to provide outdoor opportunities to the more than 80% of Americans who live in urban areas.
Easy access to parks, green spaces, and recreation areas is critical to the wellbeing of urban communities. Investments in parks help grow local economies by creating jobs, increasing property values, and attracting the kinds of businesses, workforces, and private capital that will make metropolitan areas economically competitive in today’s global economy. The Land and Water Conservation Fund can be an essential tool for city leaders as they seek to make their communities economically, environmentally and culturally vibrant through the creation of new and revitalized parks, green spaces and recreation opportunities.
In addition to support for LWCF, Secretary Jewell reinforced her commitment to partnering with cities to improve urban parks and increase access for urban-dwelling Americans to get outside through a new initiative to develop partnerships in 50 cities to create opportunities for outdoor recreation for more than ten million young people by 2017. City Parks Alliance supports the Department’s efforts to leverage urban parks to increase youth engagement with the outdoors through employment, learning and recreation.
New Additions to CPA's Board of Directors
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Adrian Benepe (The Trust for Public Land), Sylvia Fields (Eden Hall Foundation), Fran Gershwin (Burns & Levinson), Phil Ginsburg (San Francisco Recreation and Park Department), and Jayne Miller (Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board) are the newest members of CPA's Board of Directors.
Join CPA's New Community Forum
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City Parks Alliance has launched a new online community forum to connect CPA members with each other and to share information, ideas and resources around the issues and challenges facing the urban parks community.
City Parks Alliance 2013 Webinar Series
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Keeping the "Public" in Public-Private Partnerships
November 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST
As city parks budgets are slashed, public-private partnership models have become increasingly popular throughout the United States. But how do you keep the partnership balanced and prevent over-reliance on private funds? Panelists will discuss strategies for building an equitable framework into partnership structures.
Nominate a Frontline Park for 2014
Deadline: November 1, 2013
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Frontline Parks promotes inspiring examples of urban park excellence, innovation, and stewardship across the country. CPA’s goal in this effort is to showcase the best practices of city park professionals and city park advocates as well as the most innovative and successful parks in practice. Twelve parks – one each month – will be featured on CPA’s home page in 2013. Each Frontline Park story will show how parks and their stewards are on the forefront of creating healthier, more sustainable cities, and how these park projects are succeeding in tough economic times.
Register for CPA's "Ask the Expert" Webinar
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Infusing the Natural World into the Everyday Spaces of Childhood
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM EDT
Research reveals a strong link between children's experiences in nature and their psychological well-being and overall development. It is critical that focus be given to the intentional design of nature and outdoor free play in everyday playscapes of children. This webinar and Q&A session will explore design principles and case studies for creating play environments that motivate children to acquire healthy, active habits.
Special Registration Discount for CPA Members
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IDA World Congress & 59th Annual Conference
October 6-9, 2013, New York City, NY
The International Downtown Association will present the IDA World Congress & 59th Annual Conference in New York City. The theme, “People/Places/Partnerships,” will focus on how leaders across the globe are transforming buildings, places and streets through design, redevelopment, place management and distinctive programming that reflect the unique attributes of their cities. City Parks Alliance is pleased to serve as a conference partner to add a focus on downtown parks, through tours and a panel session. If you missed the chance to attend the 2012 Greater & Greener conference in New York City, be sure to sign up.
CPA Board News
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Nancy A. Goldenberg, Senior Vice President for Programs and Planning at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in Philadelphia, was elected to the CPA Board of Directors in May. Ed Uhlir, Executive Director of Millennium Park Inc. in Chicago, has been elected Co-Chair. Oliver Spellman, Senior Manager at the Northeast Regional Office of NPCA in New York, will serve as Secretary and Judith Kieffer, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, has been elected Treasurer. Dan Jones, Chairman & CEO of 21st Century Parks in Louisville, will join the Executive Committee as an At-Large member. Congratulations to all!
City Parks Alliance Parks Tour
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July 26 – 27, 2013
Join City Parks Alliance for our Summer Parks Tour, highlighting park projects in the city of Los Angeles and the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.