New Grant Funding Supports 10 Cities Participating in 10-Minute Walk Campaign

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Ashburn, Virginia, Feb. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of the campaign, which aims to address the fact that 1 in 3 Americans don’t have a park within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of home, the (NRPA), along with (TPL) and the (ULI), has selected 10 campaign cities nationwide to receive grant funding totaling $400,000. This funding will be used to support city planning and policy efforts that help increase access to high-quality, close-to-home parks and public green space. The cities are as follows:

While every campaign city has committed to the broad vision that everyone deserves a high-quality park within a 10-minute walk, each city’s approach is different. For example, Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is one of 12 to receive funding in 2018, is developing a parks master plan that uses the 10-minute walk as a benchmark for improved park access, includes underrepresented populations and prioritizes infrastructure improvements to promote park usage.

“As the Scenic City, we understand that parks play a critical role in the health and well-being of our communities, which is why we are proud to be connecting all of our residents to local parks,” said Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga, Tennessee, which will host a 10-minute walk training for new grantees in March. “From greenways, playgrounds and splash pads, to hiking and biking trails, Chattanoogans should possess options for activities and community gatherings.”

“Parks are essential to the health, happiness and prosperity of our nation,” said Jack Kardys, chair, NRPA Board of Directors. “We believe everyone deserves a great park, and we’re proud to help lead this effort that prioritizes parks in cities and urban areas across the country.”

Launched in 2017, the campaign establishes the ambitious goal that everyone in the United States should live within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of a high-quality park or green space. A bipartisan group of more than 220 mayors have joined this effort. Specifically, the campaign aims to work with mayors to bring about city- and regional-level changes in three main areas: planning, funding and policies. These may include city bond measures; zoning changes to encourage park development; park master plans focused on access and quality; the expansion of “joint use” agreements that open school playgrounds, tracks and gyms for public use after hours; and other innovations.

“We are partnering directly with mayors and other civic leaders in order to help create better, more livable cities,” said Diane Regas, president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land. “Parks and green space are an essential part of improving the health and well-being of communities across the country.”

“Thoughtfully designed parks make a positive difference in the quality of life in communities, serving as a respite, a source of civic pride, and a catalyst for economic development,” said W. Edward Walter, global chief executive officer for the Urban Land Institute. “We are excited to help promote the 10-minute walk campaign and improve park access in urban areas across the country.”  

The campaign was built on research that shows access to high-quality parks within a half mile of home deliver a wide range of benefits for urban residents and cities. These include reducing crime rates, improving mental and physical health outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety and obesity), increasing city revenues, and protecting communities from more flooding, extreme temperatures and other impacts from climate change. This effort also has broad support; according to a recent published by NRPA, 85 percent of Americans support efforts to ensure every person has access to a great part within a 10-minute walk of their home.

Funding for the campaign is provided by The JPB Foundation.

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Heather Williams
National Recreation and Park Association
703-858-4743
hwilliams@nrpa.org

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Globe Newswire: 16:33 GMT Monday 11th February 2019

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