City Accelerates Efforts to Improve Access to Quality Parks – Chattanooga Pulse | Gmx Pharm

The City of Chattanooga has partnered with Trust for Public Land’s 10-Minute Walk Park Equity Accelerator, a new initiative aimed at expanding residents’ access to parks.

The 10 Minute Walk campaign was created to help cities ensure that every resident can reach a park or green space within a 10-minute walk of their home. According to Trust for Public Land’s ParkServe database, only 39 percent of Chattanooga residents currently live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and just 8 percent of the city’s land is used for parks, compared to the national average of 15 percent .

As Chattanooga finalizes its Parks and Outdoors Plan, participation in the Accelerator will help the city adopt best practices and effective policies to increase quality park creation and remove barriers to park access. Chattanooga joins Cleveland, Ohio; Fort Worth, Texas; Lexington, Kentucky; Los Angeles, California; and Scranton, Pa. in the founding cohort of the initiative, which will provide direct resources and technical support over a 12-15 month period.

“Quality parks and green spaces promote the mental and physical health of our communities, revitalize our neighborhoods and create a more sustainable future for our city,” said Mayor Tim Kelly. “I am committed to ensuring that every resident has access to the extensive perks that parks offer from the comfort of their own home, and the 10 Minute Walk Campaign Park Equity Accelerator will help make that possible for Chattanooga.”

In partnership with Trust for Public Land, the city will develop and field-test innovative ideas to address unequal access to parks, from gaps in safe pathways and green space connections to finding ways to better involve residents in park planning. The results will help the Parks and Outdoors team implement the most effective policies and strategies to improve local park access and quality in Chattanooga.

“I’m excited and proud to join the Park Equity Accelerator’s 10 Minute Walk campaign,” said Scott Martin, Administrator of Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors Chattanoogan with access to quality green spaces regardless of their zip code.”

Trust for Public Land will use its experience with Chattanooga and others in the founding cohort to expand the model to other cities. The initial cohort of cities was selected based on their commitment to promoting local park goals; willingness to explore, experiment with and adopt new strategies or approaches; and the potential to improve local understanding of a common problem or challenge.

“We know that parks are critical to healthy communities and that investing in parks is game-changing for resilient and thriving cities. However, years of policies and practices have resulted in underinvestment in neighborhoods, exacerbating and denying this parking equity gap

Millions of people appreciate the health, climate and social benefits of being close to nature,” said Bianca Shulaker, senior director of the Trust for Public Land’s 10-Minute Walk program. “Given the urgency and scale of this gap in nature, we are excited to forge these partnerships with communities to drive policy and other system changes that will accelerate equitable access to quality parking spaces.”

“All Chattanooga residents should be able to enjoy the benefits of parks—from improved mental and physical health to greater connectedness and social cohesion to better protection from the risks of heat and pollution—regardless of where they live.” , said Noel Durant, Tennessee State Director for Trust for Public Land.

In June, Chattanooga opened its Parks and Outdoors Plan to resident contributions to give community members a voice in the future of the city’s park system. The final plan will provide a roadmap to reinvent Chattanooga as a city within a park, with a system of parks and protected open spaces that provide opportunities for all residents to easily connect while enjoying the great outdoors and its benefits. Residents can add their voice to the Parks and Outdoors Plan by completing a survey at cha.city/pop.

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