Using ‘ParkScore’ to Bring Latinos Closer to Parks



Everyone in America deserves to live within a 10-mile walk of a park. Sadly, Latino kids tend to lack safe, accessible places to play, which prevents them from getting the physical activity they need for healthy minds and bodies. That's why the Trust for Public Land created the ParkScore. What is a ParkScore? ParkScore assesses a city's park system. It also ranks the nation's 100 most populated cities by park access, park size, and facilities and investment. Minneapolis has the best park score. Check out the many reasons why Minneapolis has such a good score. Laredo, a 95% Latino city in South Texas, comes in 93rd. Here's the full list of ranked cities. City officials can use the ParkScore to guide investment in parks and promote equitable distribution in ...

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Chicago Schools Partner with Water Agencies to Green Schoolyards


Chicago school before and after green schoolyard playground

Finding safe places for kids to play hasn't been easy for Latino families in Chicago. For example, 30 years ago, the federal government sued the Chicago Parks District for favoring parks in white neighborhoods and neglecting parks in African-American and Latino ones. Schools in Chicago didn't have equitable funding to maintain their own playgrounds over the years, either. At the same time, the nation was shifting to a school day with less time for recess—creating a "recess drought." But school officials wanted to play a role in increasing access to safe green space for Latino kids and families. Solving the 'Recess Drought' (and Preventing Floods) Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school district in the nation, took a big first step in 2011. They passed a recess ...

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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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