In America’s biggest cities, residents of neighborhoods of color have access to 44 percent less park space per person than those of white neighborhoods.
Communities with less park space are hotter in summer, have worse air quality, and are more susceptible to catastrophic flooding. Lack of access to parks is also associated with higher rates of disease, stroke, and obesity.
That’s why our Federal Affairs team has been working around the clock to convince Congress to support robust funding for local parks.
Your help is needed to get Congress to act. Please take a moment to urge your legislators to support funding for local parks today, so we can create and improve parks in neighborhoods that will benefit most!
To [Decision Maker],
I’m writing to urge you to support a one-time, historic investment for local parks.
Parks and green space have always played an essential role in our communities, providing economic value, emotional and physical health benefits, and bringing people together. During the coronavirus pandemic, nature has taken on a whole new meaning for Americans, becoming the one place we go for exercise, fresh air, and respite from anxiety. But not everyone has equal access to the outdoors: Data shows that parks serving primarily nonwhite populations are half the size of parks that serve majority white populations and serve five times as many people per acre.
A historic, one-time investment in local parks would stimulate job creation and economic activity, expand park access for the one-in-three Americans who do not have a close-to-home park, and provide the health and social benefits to underserved communities feeling the impacts of this crisis most acutely.
Parks are drivers of local economies: in 2017 alone, local parks and recreation agencies generated $166 billion in economic activity and supported more than 1.1 million jobs nationwide. A 2018 report showed that parks and recreation spending on operations creates 23 jobs for every million dollars spent and 16 jobs for every million dollars spent on capital improvements.
For these reasons, I strongly urge you to support robust funding for local parks. If we maximize the opportunities for all Americans to experience the health benefits of nature, then every community – regardless of zip code – will be stronger, healthier, and more connected for generations to come.