$350,000 in Grants Awarded to Ten Nonprofits Working to Expand Access to Parks and Green Spaces in U.S. Cities

Today, 10 Minute Walk, a national effort led by The Trust for Public Land (TPL), announced $350,000 in funding to ten nonprofits across eight major metropolitan areas to bolster local efforts to ensure that 100% of people in U.S. cities have safe, easy access to a park by 2050. According to data from TPL, 100 million people in the U.S., including 28 million children, do not have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home. Today’s announcement marks the third round of funding for the “partnership fund,” which supports grassroots efforts in cities committed to this 100% goal. To date, 10 Minute Walk has awarded almost $2.4 million to nonprofits and city leaders in more than 50 cities across the country working to improve parks and green space. 


“This year, more than ever before, we have seen the vital role that parks play in our cities,” said Benita Hussain, Director of 10 Minute Walk. “The pandemic has exacerbated long-standing inequities in the health, environmental, and community benefits that parks provide.  We are thrilled to be able to support ten additional community-based organizations working to ensure that everyone across the U.S. has this type of equitable access to green space for respite, relaxation, and healthy living.”


10 Minute Walk works with local leaders across the U.S. to raise awareness around the importance of parks and green spaces for improving the health of their cities, and to make parks top of mind for the people who are planning the future of cities. The campaign has gained support and commitments from almost 300 mayors to bring parks and green space within a 10-minute walk of home of residents, as well as dozens of nonprofits that are doing crucial work in local communities to advance this goal.


Every great city ensures its residents and visitors access to great parks,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza, Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. “The Partnership for Providence Parks is a critical part of our vision, helping our youth feel pride in the many green spaces that the city has to offer. The events of this year have truly demonstrated how critical local parks are in supporting the physical well-being of all our residents and I thank the Partnership for Providence Parks for their continued efforts in this work.”


“Parks in Providence are serving a critical role for so many in the community, particularly during this difficult time – people are visiting parks to pick up meals, learn about COVID safety, and to get outside and play. We’re partnering with the city in these efforts by working to support safe and enjoyable use of these green spaces, as well as making sure families have the tools to explore nature creatively and to play, relax, and explore at home,” said Helene Miller, Executive Director of Partnership for Providence Parks. “This 10 Minute Walk grant has enabled us to pivot our programming quickly, partner with the city, other nonprofits, and our neighborhood park and recreation friends, as we come together to bring the joy of parks to everyone in the community.”


The grants support a wide variety of projects to help enhance access to parks and green space, from creating a regional model for green schoolyards outside of Philadelphia to encouraging park engagement through creative writing workshops in Orlando.  These include:

Providence, RI: Partnership for Providence Parks is working in close collaboration with the City of Providence on safe and creative activities in local parks and a series of stay-at-home art and nature exploration projects to engage youth during COVID.  ($34,000)

Orlando, FL: Linking language arts and park pride, Page 15’s “Sidewalk Stories” will use local parks and nature as inspiration in a series of free after-school creative writing workshops for youth and students, with a final publication and art exhibit of the entries to take place at a local park. ($25,000)

Orlando, FL: Orlando Community & Youth Trust will focus on holding volunteer “Green Up” events at two parks – Lorna Doone Park and Grand Avenue Park – to build long-term community pride through tree plantings, maintenance and park beautification activities. ($25,000)

Memphis, TN: Building off their work in stewarding Memphis’s first comprehensive parks plan in 20 years, Bloom will create a parks volunteer program model that will also strengthen and expand neighborhood groups’ ability to have community programs and events in their local parks, first piloting in downtown Memphis’s Morris Park. ($50,000)

Oakland, CA: Green Schoolyards America will develop a two-part online series and a related manual on how Oakland and other cities can best utilize and maintain schoolyards and playgrounds for outdoor learning, community gardening, and as public parks. ($40,000)

Oakland, CA: Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation’s work will inform the City of Oakland’s park planning efforts by creating a first annual citywide workshop to engage neighborhood groups in stewarding and programming their parks, and launching a “park pride” campaign at Oakland’s Lakeside Park (Lake Merritt) and related toolkit to excite residents about their local green spaces. ($30,000)

Pittsburgh, PA: Through this inaugural gift to the ONEPGH Fund, the Hazelwood Greenway Stewardship Group will help catalyze a formal grants program jointly administered by the City of Pittsburgh and the ONEPGH Fund to bring green space access to a significant number of residents, and establish a platform for investment in the City’s Greenways System to pilot stewardship activities, community engagement, and public-private partnerships. ($50,000)

Metro-Philadelphia: With a focus on municipal and school district collaboration, the Tri-County Community Network will focus on increasing park access through partnerships across multiple cities in the Pottstown area, with a goal to establish “joint use” agreements of schoolyards to ensure after-hour public use of them as parks. ($50,000)

Montpelier, VT: Montpelier Alive will explore barriers to park use, plan for expanded access, and engage a broad representation of stakeholders and community members, all informing master planning that increases park equity for all residents and fosters economic development through outdoor recreation. ($35,000)

Fort Worth, TX: Leveraging the community momentum around the redevelopment of the Bomber Spur, an abandoned rail line through one of the highest-need areas of the city, Streams & Valleys will coordinate work towards the Bomber Spur Vision and Master Plan, which will advance the area’s park access and inform ongoing resilience planning. ($30,000)

The 10 Minute Walk and these grants have been made possible by generous support from The JPB Foundation.


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About the 10 Minute Walk

10 Minute Walk is a campaign dedicated to improving access to safe, quality parks and green spaces in cities—large and small—throughout the U.S. Together, we’re working with leaders to create a world in which 100% of people are within a 10-minute walk of a park or green space by 2050. Led by The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with National Recreation and Park Association and the Urban Land Institute, we drive commitments from city leaders working to achieve this vision and transform their communities by elevating parks and green space. Read more here.

About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Read more here.