In this episode, John connects with
Bianca Shulaker, Associate Director, National Programs at The Trust for Public Land

They discuss the Trust’s Park Score Index, the 10-Minute Walk Campaign, the exciting opportunity that exists to leverage qualitative data to meet the needs of the community, and so much more.

Show Notes:

The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 on the conviction that all people need and deserve access to nature and the outdoors, close to home, in the cities and communities where they live, as a matter of health, equity, and justice.

While many conservation organizations set aside wild-lands for biodiversity or habitat restoration, the founders of TPL sought to bring the benefits of parks and nature to the places, people, and communities that needed them most.

Signature initiatives and programs include ParkScoreParkServe, and the 10-Minute Walk campaign

ParkScore: The ParkScore index provides in-depth data to make the case for park investment and guide local park improvement efforts. The ParkScore index is the most comprehensive rating system ever developed to measure how well the 100 largest U.S. cities are meeting the need for parks. To determine a city’s ParkScore rating, we assign points for 14 measures across five categories: acreage, investment, amenities, access, and equity. Recent analysis of data revealed significant disparities in park space across racial and economic lines. Find more here: Equitable Recovery Report

ParkServe: ParkServe helps cities visualize their park system and inform decisions by identifying areas most in need of new parks. This tool and comprehensive database, developed by The Trust for Public Land, includes park data from 14,000 cities, towns, and communities. ParkServe analyzes the 10-minute walk serviceable areas for each park in the database, and includes demographic data, certain climate and health layers, and schoolyards and certain park amenities. Data is freely available to download, and an interactive map and Park Elevator tool can help assess locations for new parks.

10-Minute Walk: We believe all people in US cities should have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk of their home. Today, 100 million people living in the U.S. don’t have a park close to home.10-Minute Walk, an initiative led by The Trust for Public Land, calls on mayors and gives them the resources needed to accelerate the creation of parks that drive equitable, healthy, and thriving communities. Working with cities, communities, and partners, we seek to identify and support actions that help close the nation’s park equity gap.

*NEW* Community Schoolyards Report: Joint use – including with schools – is an important tool for providing access to recreation and greenspace. Currently, public school districts own an astonishing two million acres of underused land across America. By transforming these blacktop public schoolyards into living, recreational spaces open to the community, 20 million more people would have access to a park space within a 10-minute walk of home. This new report highlights the positive effects that result from providing students and nearby communities multi-functional parks that double as tranquil oases in their neighborhoods

Additional Helpful Links:

Dr. Richard “Dick” Jackson

SOPARC the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities Tool – used in direct observation to assess number of park users and levels of physical activity:

Community Park Audit Tool: one of the tools that has informed observations of the characteristics of park spaces

We All Need Parks Video

10-Minute Walk Video

Safe Routes to School Partnership

Complete Streets

Colorado Springs Trails and Open Space Coalition

Show Credits:

Audio Production by Active Towns

A not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping communities create a Culture of Activity.

Creative Commons License: Attributions Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2021

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You can reach John Simmerman by email at john@activetowns.org

Music: Various Logic Pro X mixes by John Simmerman