New Report Promoting Parks for Health

SAN FRANCISCO, CA 5/26/2009: Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land, today praised a new report which said providing neighborhood parks and playgrounds can help reduce the nation’s rising rate of childhood obesity.

“At TPL, we have long believed that all children need a safe place to play, no matter where they live, and as part of our mission, we have long been working in cities to turn that goal into reality. Today’s report only emphasizes the need for more neighborhood parks,” Rogers said.

The report, titled “The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children,” was published today by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The report said an estimated 17% of American children are overweight and added “the built environment of a community affects children’s opportunities for physical activities. Neighborhoods and communities can provide opportunities for recreational physical activity with parks and open spaces, and policies must support this capacity.”

Rogers noted, “TPL is the only national conservation organization working across the entire landscape, from wilderness to the inner cities. Since we were founded in 1972, building parks in our cities has been a core part of our work.”

TPL has built parks and playgrounds in cities across the nation, from New York and Newark, to San Francisco.

The report urged that governments should “create and maintain playgrounds, parks and green spaces within communities as well as the means to access them safely (and should) prioritize resources to low-income neighborhoods to ensure that all children have access to safe and desirable opportunities for play and active lifestyles.”

TPL conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL depends upon the support of individuals, foundations and corporations.