Residents from East LA Seek Recreational Opportunities Along the LA River



According to the City Project blog, in July 2013, residents from the neighborhoods adjacent to the Northeast Riverfront in Los Angeles attended a forum to help plan improvements along the LA river. Among the things requested by residents were more open space, clean air and waters, multi-use projects, educational programs, more trees, bike lanes, and soccer fields. The workshop was the first in a series of workshops provided through the Northeast Los Angeles (NELA) Riverfront Collaborative, that locals will have the opportunity of attending. Future meetings for the Policy Engagement Schedule include workshops in: Food Policy Workforce Development & Jobs  Planning & Mobility Sustainable Economic Development For information visit The City Project or NELA ...

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Three Park Projects Could Transform San Antonio’s Most Underserved Areas



Latinos living in undeserved areas can benefit greatly from easier access to parks and places of recreation. According to this article from the San Antonio Current, three new park projects will provide Latinos living in historically underserved areas of the city---like the Westside and Southside---with greater access to green space. Funding for these parks will come from the City's 2012-2017 Bond program, which has set aside $87.15 million for parks and recreation open space projects, as well as from the San Antonio River Foundation, the San Antonio River Authority, Bexar County, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Among the three new parks to be built are: Pearsall Park; Confluence Park; and Westside Creeks Restoration Project. If all goes as planned, within five years Latinos ...

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Parent Brings Park to Santa Ana With the Help of Promotores and Latino Health Access



Irma Rivera, a mother living in Santa Anna, had nowhere to take her children to play after school. Because school playgrounds were locked up during after school hours she would take her kids to play in the school parking lot. It was when Irma saw a child almost get hit by a car that she realized, “enough was enough,” something had to be done to have more playspace for her children. Having already attended some Latino Health Access diabetes classes at a local school, Irma decided to approach the organization to ask for their support. She asked, “can we organize the moms and get a park,” and Latino Health Access’ response was, “with your help, we will.” Moms and children approached city council members and expressed the need for a park in their community. There was a ...

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World Fit Walk Inspires 38,000 Kids in 50 Schools to Get Moving



The World Fit Walk organization, a program sponsored by Olympic athletes, is working to get children moving in 50 schools across the United States. In a news article, Education Week reports that close to 38,000 students would be logging the amount of miles they walked over the course of a six week period. At the end of the six week period students would compare their results with other schools in the area. Those who log 120 miles or more are eligible to receive the President's Active Lifestyle Achievement Award. To learn more about the World Fit Walk organization visit their webpage and Facebook page. Read about how Daniel Herrera a student from Los Olivos School worked towards achieving his goal by participating in the World Fit Walk ...

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Chula Vista Promotoras Help Youth Reclaim Their Neighborhood Park



Through the Healthy Eating, Active Communities program, a group of teenagers living in Chula Vista joined efforts to improve their neighborhood park. To bring about this transformation, in June 2007, local promotoras---Spanish speaking community health workers---mentored a group of five high school students, teaching them leadership development and advocacy skills. Students then interviewed local residents and surveyed the park for needed improvements. Soon city officials were invited to attend a public meeting held at the park. Citizens expressed their concerns, which were later presented to the city council, by the group of students and promotoras. By September 2008, Lauderback Park was officially reopened. Students and promotoras involved in this effort were recognized for their ...

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Community Grassroots Efforts Bring Fitness Park to South LA



What started out as a small community effort to clean up a neighborhood, has now evolved into an innovative self-sustaining, green park project. The idea of building a park near WAYS elementary school first came to Heal the Bay and Kendra Okonkwo, founder of the WAYS elementary charter school in South LA, after conducting an environmental assessment of the WAYS neighborhood. Okonkwo and Refugio Mata, a program organizer for Heal the Bay, noticed an abandoned alley behind the WAYS school. Because park space in the area was limited, they decided to work with community residents and form collaborations with local organizations, to develop plans for a park. Students from WAYS and community members offered their support by providing input, participating in neighborhood meetings, and ...

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LUPE Seeks Walking Trails and Park Improvements for Hidalgo County Colonias



According to this blog from La Union Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), Colonia residents in Hidalgo County are working with LUPE to find assistance for the development of safe walking trails and parks for their children. Children living in colonias---small, impoverished settlements between the US-Mexican border---often lack clean and safe areas to play due to a lack of proper waste collection and street lighting in their neighborhoods. Often parents would rather keep their children indoors than have them end up playing near fields filled with waste. According to various blog entries posted by LUPE, in 2011 colonia residents were working with local officials to see what kind of improvements could be brought their ...

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Transit to Trails: A Program that Gives Inner City Youth a Chance to Experience the Wilderness



The organizers behind Transit to Trails recognize that although few people of color visit national forests and other green spaces in Southern California, it does not mean that they do not value parks and green space. Cities that have fewer parks or wilderness areas have higher levels of childhood obesity. That's why Transit to Trails takes inner city youth and their families and friends on fun mountain, beach, and Los Angeles River hiking and biking trips. The project enriches their education about water, land, wildlife, and cultural history, and teaches the importance of physical activity and healthy eating for life-long health. Transit to Trails aims to diversify access to parks and support for green space. Although Latino children in Southern California are less likely to visit ...

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The Beacon Hill Area Neighborhood Association Gets a New Park



Sometimes it takes patience and perseverance for improvements to come to one's neighborhood. After waiting for 25 years, residents living in the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Area finally got the park they wanted. Although phase I has been completed residents look forward to seeing the second phase of park development begin. Phase II of The Beacon Hill Linear Park is scheduled to begin construction in late 2013, thanks largely in part to the efforts of City Councilman Diego Bernal, who secured funds for phase II through the city's 2012-2017 bond fund. Community leaders spoke at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of Phase I of the Beacon Hill Linear Park. John Karlis, Vice President of the Beacon Hill Area Neighborhood Association, spoke of the park's community garden and Cosima ...

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