Fresno Community Blue and Green Spaces Program Opens School Pools


Latino Health pools blue space swimming

Schools in Fresno, CA (52.8% Latino) opened their green and blue spaces to the public. Green spaces are parks, playgrounds, sports fields and other outdoor play spaces. Blue spaces are swimming pools, lakes and rivers. Latino kids lack safe green and blue spaces, thus face higher rates of chronic disease, drowning, and drowning related injuries compared to white kids. In June 2016, the Fresno Parks, After School, Recreation, and Community Services Department (PARCS) started a new Weekend Recreation and Fitness Program (WRFP) to get help kids and families stay more active. With a $1.2 million dollar budget from the City of Fresno, Fresno Unified School District, and Central Unified School District, they opened school facilities, like playgrounds, sports fields and green space, ...

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Head Start Partners with Technical and Community College


Latino health early childhood education

Latino children may have education disadvantages when starting kindergarten. Head Start, which is free for low-income families, may help to improve school readiness with curriculum to enhance children's language, pre-literacy, and social-emotional skills. In 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services Head Start passed new performance standards increasing the minimum program hours. This is great for kids and families, but a challenge for providers due to limited space. In Alexandrian, Minnesota, half-day classes could share the same facility, one in the morning and a second in the afternoon, but didn't have the space to offer full day programming for both classes. They needed more space. Jim Haugen, Head Start Supervisor approached Alexandria Technical and Community ...

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NRPA/Disney Play Spaces Grant Application


Latino Health physical activity

Thanks to a grant from Disney, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is expanding the Meet Me at the Park program and providing additional communities with increased access to play spaces in local parks.  Meet Me at the Park brings the magic of parks and recreation to children and families across the United States. Applicants must: Be a local or state government park and recreation agency, (e.g., municipal park and recreation department, tribal recreation department, park district, etc.) Provide opportunities for community engagement and volunteerism in association with the project. Promote the project locally through its own communication channels and on social media. Administer surveys and collect data from at least 25 people at the project site once ...

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Parents Help Save Pool in Low-Income Minneapolis Area


pool saved hannah lieder minneapolis phillips pool

Hannah Lieder, foster mother and founder of Minneapolis Swims, has been working since 2010 to keep open the local Phillips Pool in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minn. Why? Lieder knows that children living in low-income, Latino, or minority neighborhoods have historically lacked convenient access to physical activity spaces, particularly swimming pools, compared to white or high-income neighborhoods. These social and environmental inequalities contribute to disparities in drowning rates, physical activity levels, health outcomes and academic achievement. Phillips Pool was in disrepair and under constant threat to be concreted over. Now, six years later, Lieder’s legacy lives on, through Denny Bennett, as crews will break ground on the Phillips Aquatics ...

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Video: Different Approach to Traffic Safety



How many people do you think are killed or severely injured in traffic crashes each year? What do you think is a good goal for your state? What should the goal be for your family? Should that be the goal for everyone? Oregon's regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, Metro, asked residents these questions at the KidFest! Family Expo in February 2017. See video. The goals was to frame traffic fatalities as preventable and raise awareness about Vision Zero. Vision Zero is an innovative road safety policy to make streets safer and eliminate traffic fatalities Skeptics claim that car crashes are an inevitable outcome in our vehicle-dominated society. Vision Zero draws a hard line between crashes and fatalities. Fatalities and serious injuries are not inevitable and ...

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Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities


Latino health walking community active living design safe routes complete streets

The way our communities are designed and built can either support or hinder health. This includes sidewalks, bike lanes, public transportation, housing, schools, parks, employment centers, etc. Everyone deserves healthy communities with safe routes to where we live, learn, work, play, and pray, as well as safe routes to healthy food. The American Public Health Association (APHA) and partner organizations have pledged to work together on the Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities. Partners include American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Landscape Architects, National Recreation and Park Association, U.S. Green Building Council, & Urban Land Institute. The signatory ...

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Silent Barriers to Biking in Communities of Color


Latino Health bike bicycle biking walking pedestrian justice barriers

"Transportation professionals should be more concerned about the personal safety of Black and Hispanic cyclists because they are in a position to change how the built environment either acts as a conduit or barrier to criminal activity," Charles T. Brown, a transportation researcher and adjunct professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University, wrote in his report, Fear: A Silent Barrier to Bicycling in Black and Hispanic Communities. Brown saw a lack of research on transportation justice, which prompted him and James A. Sinclair, research manager at the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center, to explore why some Black and Hispanic individuals choose not to bicycle; what prevents people of color who do bike from cycling more often; and how to encourage all ...

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Cities Across Country Looking to Cut the Default Speed Limit, but States Stand in the Way


Latino Health Walkability Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrians have a 90% survival rate if they are hit by a vehicle going 20 miles per hour, compared to only a 50% survival rate if hit by a vehicle going 30 mph. In 2016, Seattle, WA (6.6% Latino); Alexandria, VA (16.9% Latino); Boston, MA (17.5%Latino); and New York City, NY (28.6% Latino), among other cities lowered the default speed limit in some urban and residential areas by 5-10 mph. Speed is the most important factor to regulate to improve pedestrian safety for Latinos and all pedestrians, and can help boost daily physical activity, which is important for mental and physical health. The founder and director of the Vision Zero Network to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries, Leah Shahum, says state permission is a key obstacle to traffic safety that cities have ...

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Multidisciplinary Design Charrette Transforms Conventional Planning Process



Designing healthy, complete neighborhoods requires a holistic, collaborative process, but collaboration can get messy. Charrettes are a creative way for agencies, organizations, groups, and community members to bust out of their specialist silos and work together to solve community planning and design problems. Charrettes are of often intense meetings lasting multiple days. The National Charrette Institute (NCI) began training professionals in collaborative design and charrettes in 2002. In 2017, NCI partnered with the Michigan State University (MSU) School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) and MSU Extension. Professionals, such as transportation engineers, architects, urban designers, and planners need to work together with citizens, elected officials, ...

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4 Policy Levers for MPOs to Promote Physical Activity and Health


Latino Health Walkability Active Living Planning Transportation

How we get around each day shapes our physical and mental health, and overall quality of life. Walkable communities are consistently found to be healthier communities. Demand for walkability has steadily increased. Regional transportation planning agencies and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) play a critical role in planning and constructing more convenient, attractive, and safe places to walk or bike for transportation, recreation, and/or health because they are the gatekeepers of billions of transportation dollars. The American Public Health Association and Transportation for America developed a policy paper outlining four policy levers for MPOs to prioritize health in their plans, projects, and policies to decrease health disparities and increase access to local ...

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