Parks for People


For years, students at Dallas’s South Oak Cliff High School went to class in grim conditions. “The roof leaked, asbestos was everywhere, drinking water came in lead pipes, the heating and air conditioning didn’t work,” says Derek Battie, head of the South Oak Cliff alumni association. “Our...

Parks and the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored that close-to-home parks are crucial to a community’s quality of life. During this crisis, people have turned to their parks like never before—for fresh air, exercise, meditation, solace, and a much-needed break from the stresses of a quickly changing world.

School's Out

As families count down to the first day of school, one thing is for certain: the 2020-2021 school year will be unlike any other in our collective lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic has put educators and school administrators between a rock and a hard place: bring kids back to the classroom, where experts say that all will be at high risk of virus transmission, or continue with distance learning, which experts agree compromises educational outcomes and accelerates inequality.


A heat wave swallowed much of the Eastern seaboard late last month, breaking temperature records from New Hampshire to Virginia, and further straining public health and healthcare systems that are already stretched thin by the coronavirus.

The heat is on

Even in normal...


Extraordinary times call for extraordinary leaders. And as the coronavirus strains communities that are already unduly suffering from structural racism and environmental injustice, women of color are leading the way towards a healthier, more equitable society for all.

This week, we were...


In New York City, playgrounds are open this week for the first time since April 1, with the addition of “social distancing ambassadors” to remind people to maintain six feet distance from other people, hand out masks to people who don't have them, and encourage good hygiene.

While park...


The Equipo Verde had their goals for 2020 all laid out: a calendar of community work days to clean up the neglected back alleyways that run through their South Los Angeles neighborhood, a slate of policies for park investments they’d be pushing with their elected...


If you feel like your local outdoor spot has been busier since the start of the pandemic, you might be right: across the country, park managers have tracked big increases in visits to the parks that have stayed open to the public this spring. In Dallas, for instance, visitation rose from 30...

Pocket Park Toolkit

This Pocket Park Toolkit was created to help any individual, group, or organization interested in supporting their community by building parks. Through research, discussion, and interviews with experts in the fields of community engagement and organizing, park funding, design, and ongoing park operations and maintenance, this Toolkit provides practical guidance for both the novice community leader and the seasoned government employee. It is geared toward a reader with knowledge about parks and their benefits, but still looking for some clear guidance on how to get started. This Toolkit provides a snapshot of successful strategies and case studies partnered with checklists and templates to empower folks to work with their neighbors to build more parks and stronger, healthier, and more connected communities.