Park Access Network Resource Hub

Find previously live Park Access Network content here! Parks and recreation create stronger, more resilient communities that can adapt to and better recover from environmental, social and economic challenges. However, significant racial and socioeconomic disparities affect access to parks, including the number of quality parks, proximity of parks and connection to safe, inclusive, culturally-relevant parks and programs. Moreover, Black, Indigenous and people of color and low-income communities receive fewer resources and support to prepare for, respond to and recover from the impacts of climate change.

Park and recreation professionals have the tools and resources to lead localized, anti-racist solutions that advance the multitude of benefits derived from equitable park access and climate-resilient park systems. The Park Access Network is an open community bringing together diverse professionals to facilitate conversations and best practices among peers to drive systemic changes that advance equitable and resilient park access.

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Adopting Greener Equipment and Transportation
Recorded 04/24/2024  |  60 minutes
Recorded 04/24/2024  |  60 minutes On this call, attendees can expect to discuss the following key objectives: Decision Making: Understand the key factors that went into the decision to electrify the district's fleet and equipment. We will provide context within the district and the broader community and how that influenced the approach. Implementation: Share details of how equipment was selected, rolled out and how it has performed. Lessons Learned: Share what we have learned along the way so that you can learn from our mistakes. Find out not only what has gone well but also where we would try something different if we were to do it over again.
What Sustainability Looks Like In Suburban Parks
Recorded 02/27/2024  |  60 minutes
Recorded 02/27/2024  |  60 minutes Chris Lindgren, Superintendent of Parks and Planning of Park District of Oak Park, IL discussed the following in his presentation on What Sustainability Looks Like In Suburban Parks: Enhanced understanding of sustainable practices • Educated the audience on practical solutions for energy reduction in urban parks. • Provided insights into sustainable planning strategies for parks agencies. • Fostered awareness about the importance of environmental practices in the context of urban park sustainability. Equipped parks agencies with implementation strategies • Empowered parks agencies with actionable procedures for implementing energy reduction measures. • Offered practical guidance on incorporating sustainability planning into the daily operations of parks. • Provided step-by-step procedures for the electrification of park facilities and infrastructure. Promoted effective natural resource management • Highlighted the significance of natural resource management in urban parks. • Shared best practices and innovative approaches for sustainable use of natural resources. • Inspired parks agencies to adopt environmentally friendly practices that contribute to the overall well-being of urban ecosystems.
The Southeast Conservation Blueprint
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. The Southeast Conservation Blueprint – a tool that identifies the best places for shared conservation action, presented by Alex Lamle. What to expect from the call: 1. Learn about how data produced by the Southeast Conservation Blueprint can be used in terms of decision support, strategic planning, grant writing, and how this tool has helped over 300 people from over 130 different agencies bring in new funding, inform conservation decisions, and has helped bring in over $80 million to protect/restore over 100,000 acres. 2. How to use the Southeast Conservation Blueprint even if you do not reside in the southeast region, and how to use the free user support that comes with using the blueprint. 3. How this tool and others similar can help inform resiliency and nature-based solutions in your agency and the new elements that will be added to address equity and other aspects key to ensuring resilient and equitable communities.
Empowering Community Voice Through Equitable Engagement
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. On this webinar, we will engage a panel of parks and recreational professionals and CBO's on best practices to not only engage, but to equitably empower and uplift community voice. You don't want to miss this!
Sustainability Plans in Action
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. This is what you you can expect from the call: 1. Discuss opportunities to implement sustainability goals 2. Highlight potential stakeholder groups to engage before putting plans into action 3. Define important factors impacting implementation 4. Define metrics for evaluating project success
Building Equity into US Urban Green Infrastructure and Park Planning
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. Green infrastructure, parks and natural areas have become an important sustainability and resilience strategy for US cities. As efforts to expand these critical infrastructure advance, how can we ensure that investments benefit all urban residents while addressing persistent environmental and social injustices? Join Associate Director Chris Kennedy from The New School's Urban Systems Lab and Zbigniew Grabowski, Associate Extension Educator from UConn’s Center for Landuse Education and Research (CLEAR), to learn more about recent research exploring how cities can build equity into green infrastructure and parks planning and practice. Together Kennedy and Grabowski will provide grounded approaches for addressing the intersection between environmental and social inequity with care, the ways in which these approaches have been enacted at the USL, and invite participants to explore the strengths and challenges of attempting transformative work in their own communities and cities.
City of New Orleans' Stormwater Resilience Plan for Parks and Playgrounds
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. Learn about the City of New Orleans' stormwater resilience plan for park and playground and how it helps create equitable and resilient communities with Larry Barabino, Jr., CEO of New Orleans Recreation Department Commission. In this call you'll learn: 1. About the City of New Orleans' Stormwater Resilience plan for parks and playgrounds and their approach to managing the risk of extreme rain events 2. To Identify opportunities that foster public engagement and active community involvement in stormwater resilience projects 3. To identify costs, funding, and sites for parks and playground storm water resilience plan
Fish, Feathers, and Hooves Wildlife as a Catalyst for Community Engagement
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. Description: Denver Parks and Recreation uses wildlife as a tool for community connection, education, and reconciliation. Join Vicki Vargas-Madrid, Eliza Hunholtz, and Shannon Dennison to learn about how these innovative programs have prioritized equity and re-shaped the department's community relationships. The presentation will include the following topics: 1. Managing resident goose populations and engaging advocacy groups and the passionate public 2. Ranger-led youth fishing in community lakes and ponds 3. Restoring bison to indigenous communities
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Urban Park Landscapes
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Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. Park Access Network call from October 26th, 2022 on the topic of Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Urban Park Landscapes. The following are main points from the call: 1. Evolving cultural ideas of what parks look like is necessary to enrich ecological value and resilience. a. Most people are used to parks looking well-manicured, but a messier landscape that includes taller grass, leaf retention (rather than leaf removal), and a greater density of trees allow for more effective ecological processes to take place 2. Use ‘cues to care’ when integrating new aesthetics to help shape public perception– human actions that indicate that land is well cared for and its maintenance meets cultural expectations a. When long grass provides a pollinator habitat, a mowed edge signals that the long grass is intentional and maintained 3. Signage that explains why landscape looks the way it does and how it’s working ecologically Training maintenance staff on organic matter retention and regenerative practices can achieve: a. 50% water savings b. 30-70% maintenance savings c. 70-80% reduced runoff d. 53 tons/acres greenhouse gas reduction