Technical Assistance

Park Equity Communities of Practice

The Park Equity Communities of Practice is a capacity building and peer learning network that brings together cities throughout the U.S. to focus on improving park equity. Over 300 city stakeholders, including city officials, planners, and parks professionals, from over 80 cities across the nation have come together to generate policy recommendations, resources, and guidance that supports changing park equity practices on the ground.

Elevating Innovation

Examples from our Expert Panels

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta developed a Parks and Recreation Equity Data Tool for the city’s 10-year master plan, Activate ATL, to use data-driven mapping to accurately identify disparities within the parks and recreation system and help pinpoint specific strategies to eliminate those disparities. The interactive tool evaluates community and park needs and identifies neighborhoods with the greatest need for park investment and capital improvements, and will ultimately track and evaluate the impact of the agency’s efforts over time.

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Baltimore, MD

Baltimore Recreation and Parks uses equity data for their capital prioritization plan and to redress areas in the city that experienced historical disinvestment with redlining. Furthermore, the city uses this data to target areas for community engagement and allocate more funds to bring in programming and recreation to those neighborhoods.

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Henderson, NV

Henderson Parks and Recreation established best practices and guidelines for developers to maximize park access and community benefits for residents. As a result, the city has been able to build new parkland more efficiently in and near residential developments, in which 43% of new parks built in the last decade (since 2012) came from private development.

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2023-2024 Cohort

We’re hosting three deep dive tracks to explore parks maintenance, community power, and affordable housing.

Parks Maintenance: Funding and Policies

We will investigate key strategies to improve maintenance systems for parks, including policies, funding, assessments, and other approaches to capacity building.

October 25, 2023 – Maintenance Standards and Assessments Recording || Presentation

December 13, 2023 – Maintenance Funding – Traditional Models Recording || Presentation

February 7, 2024 – Non-traditional Funding Models

Recording || Presentation

April 3, 2024 – Staffing & Capacity Presentation

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Community Power: Civic Engagement for a Healthy Democracy

We will focus on ways to activate and strengthen the role that park organizations play in strengthening community power through civic education, trust building, investments in community capacity, and other steps towards a thriving democracy.

November 9, 2023 – Power mapping: How can parks play a role in nurturing a healthy democracy? Recording || Presentation

January 18, 2024 – Participatory Planning: How can parks transform community vision into reality? Recording || Presentation

March 14, 2024 – Compensating Community Members for Expertise  Recording || Presentation

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Parks Plus: Affordable Housing

We will identify how to better plan for parks and green spaces with affordable housing development and highlight the role that parks play in enhancing neighborhood livability, sustainability, and growth.

November 15, 2023 – Affordable Housing and Parks Recording || Presentation

January 17, 2024 – Leveraging Policies and Programs to Develop Parks with Affordable Housing Presentation

March 6, 2024 – Funding Parks and Affordable Housing


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2022-2023: High-Impact Areas for Park Equity

We hosted three ‘deep dive’ tracks to explore high-impact opportunity areas that represent a significant challenge or need in the field and are most relevant to practitioners’ interests.

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Community Engagement For Lasting Impact

Participants in this track exchanged best practices and ideas for conducting meaningful, equitable community engagement and gathered and tested tools to apply in their respective communities.

RESOURCE: Community Engagement for Lasting Impact

Nov 10, 2022 – What does engagement look like? Recording || Presentation

Dec 8, 2022 – Where to start: initial outreach Recording || Presentation

Jan 19, 2023 – Optional Session – Park Listeners Program Recording || Presentation

Feb 9, 2023 – Building relationships between communities Recording || Presentation

Apr 13, 2023 – Engaging with diverse community identities Recording || Presentation

June 8, 2023 – Building community power Recording || Presentation

July 13, 2023 – Closing session Recording || Presentation

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Developer Park Partnership Strategies

Participants tackled challenges and opportunities with the growing trend of privately developed parks, and discussed best practices for public access criteria to address park access gaps and inequities in their respective cities.

Nov 9, 2022 – What are the current conditions of private parks in your city? Recording || Presentation

Jan 11, 2023 – When is a private park public? A discussion of public access & equity considerations Recording || Presentation

Mar 8, 2023 – How can cities leverage developer requirements to increase park access and narrow the park equity gap? Recording || Presentation

May 10, 2023 – What are successful stewardship, funding, & governance models for privately-owned parks? Recording || Presentation

July 12, 2023 – How can we communicate park access metrics in cities with significant number of residents served by private parks (e.g. HOAs)? Recording || Presentation

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Park Qualities Incubator: Mapping Park Experiences

Participants in this track discussed and co-developed new approaches to measuring park experience types, such as. natural areas, recreational activities, and social gathering areas, as a step towards building park quality attributes for use in equity and impact analyses.

Nov 16, 2022 – Framework- Linking park experience types and health outcomes Recording || Presentation

Dec 14, 2022 – Framework- Translating concepts to metrics and action Recording || Presentation

Jan 18, 2023 – Workshop: Review 2 or 3 new mapping approaches developed from the first two sessions Recording || Presentation

Mar 15, 2023 – Workshop: Review revised approaches and open review period for participants Recording || Presentation

Apr 19, 2023 – Beyond experiences – Exploring additional approaches to park quality metrics Recording || Presentation

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2021-2022: Approaches to Park Equity

This cohort tackled parks-related issues that address broader policy objectives, such as health, climate, equity, economic development, and quality of life for residents.

Read Key Takeaways from this Cohort