Trust for Public Land and L.L.Bean Announce Three Recipients of the L.L.Bean Community Award for 2022, to Help Improve Park Equity
San Francisco — The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with outdoor retailer L.L.Bean, has announced the recipients for the fourth round of the L.L.Bean Community Award, which will support park projects this year for those communities that need them most. Projects selected this year in Chicago, IL, DeKalb County, GA and Brooklyn Center, MN will each receive $50,000 grants for much needed park enhancement.
In October of 2018, L.L.Bean announced its partnership with The Trust for Public Land, with a $1 million investment to help create more equitable access to nature so more people enjoy outdoor spaces in their communities.
“We know how critical parks and green spaces are for our mental and physical wellbeing, and the vital role they bring in building community. TPL is more committed than ever to putting nature closer to home in communities across the country,” said Diane Regas, president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land. “Our partnership with L.L.Bean allows us to not only give residents in Chicago, DeKalb County and Brooklyn Center beautiful outdoor spaces and places of learning and healing but helps to ensure these spaces are accessible and equitable to all.”
Outside of Atlanta in DeKalb County, funding will be used to improve Columbia Elementary School’s underutilized forest and creek so that everyone in the community can access a user-friendly, beautiful, 9-acre outdoor space. With stream and wildlife observation spots, trail signage, site furniture, and a focused outdoor learning area, the Columbia Woodland Trail and Stream project will enhance an existing trail with environmental education and art features that activate unused schoolyard land for outdoor learning, while addressing the lack of access to the outdoors for the surrounding community. This community and school led effort will work to address equity and access needs for outdoor learning, physical health, and community water quality education.
On Chicago’s South Side, The Mamie Till-Mobley Forgiveness Garden in the Woodlawn neighborhood will be home to a new outdoor green space that will invite residents to heal from decades of painful racism as well as honor an important figure in black Chicago History, Mamie Till-Mobley, mother of Emmett Till, who’s brutal lynching launched the American Civil Rights movement. This first garden will sit under Emmett Till’s childhood home and will serve as an anchor for a planned series of 16 gardens that honor luminaries of The Great Migration from Mississippi to Chicago. Funding will allow for the installation of a solar array and rain harvesting system on the site that will further all future development in the garden series. Connecting people to the outdoors through a culturally and historically significant event for Chicago and the country will help to foster community, healing, and honor an important shared history.
The under-resourced schoolyard at Brooklyn Center Elementary in Minnesota will be revitalized as it regularly floods, lacks the necessary shade for healthy learning, and due to it being adjacent to a major freeway students and staff are impacted by noise and air pollution. With this funding, TPL will partner with the community and the school to develop the design for a full reconstruction of the schoolyard to create a safe, welcoming outdoor space for the community, created by the community.
“L.L.Bean has always existed to help people experience the restorative power of being outside,” says Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman, L.L.Bean. “Over the past four years, our partnership with TPL has enabled thousands of people, particularly those in under-served urban areas, to have greater access to safe and welcoming outdoor spaces close to where they live and work. I’m excited that this year’s grant winners will further our ongoing efforts to make the outdoors more accessible to all.”
The Trust for Public Land’s data shows that 100 million people, including 28 million children, or more than one in three Americans, who do not have a park within a 10-minute walk of home. And furthermore, that nationwide, parks that serve majority nonwhite populations are, on average, half as large—45 acres compared to 87 acres—and nearly five times as crowded as parks that serve majority-white populations. L.L.Bean’s investment will continue to support Trust for Public Land’s movement to put a quality park within a 10-minute walk of every person in America.
To date, we have awarded 600,00 to twelve different projects in eleven different communities across the country, which has connected over 40,000 people to a safe, quality park within a 10-minute walk of home.
ABOUT L.L.BEAN, INC.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. L.L.Bean is a family-owned Maine company, led by Executive Chairman, Shawn Gorman, the great grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, and Stephen Smith, President and CEO. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean continues to uphold the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. In the past ten years, L.L.Bean has provided over $30 million to non-profit organizations. L.L.Bean currently operates 44 stores in 18 states across the United States, along with 28 stores in Japan. The 220,000-sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.