Our Network for Learning and Action V2

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. Through a co-creation and rigorous approach, we work to generate policy recommendations, resources, and guidance that supports changing park equity practices on the ground.

Creating Solutions Together

Over 300 city stakeholders, including city officials, planners, and parks professionals, from over 80 cities across the nation have come together through the Park Equity Communities of Practice. Participants dialogue with each other and subject matter experts to learn, workshop challenges, exchange ideas, and identify best practices that can be scaled and applied throughout cities of all types across the country.

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. Find more information on each track below.

Registration Flier

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.

Oct 25, 2023 – Maintenance Standards and Assessments Recording || 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.

Nov 9, 2023 – Power mapping: How can parks play a role in nurturing a healthy democracy? 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.

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

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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.

Read Key Takeaways from this Cohort

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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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

Communities of Practice: What does engagement look like?

November 10, 2022 47:52

Community engagement in the parks process can amplify community outcomes such as greater trust, civic participation, and social resiliency. Community engagement is most effective when it happens across all park stages. Parks practitioners want to deepen their approach to community engagement as a means of delivering on commitments to equity.

Find the presentation here.

Featured speakers:

  • Cary Simmons, Director of Community Strategies, Land and People Lab, TPL
  • Geneva Vest, Program Manager, Land and People Lab, TPL
  • Bianca Shulaker, Parks Initiative Lead and Senior Director, 10-Minute Walk Program, TPL
  • Christina Jang, Senior Project Manager, 10-Minute Walk Program, TPL

Communities of Practice: Where to start: initial outreach

December 8, 2022 54:23

Community outreach: building relationships and trust with the community to prepare for deep work together.

Find the presentation here.

Featured speakers:

  • Blythe Bailey
  • Daniela Paz Peterson
  • Farina Gaspar
  • Claribel Hernadez

Communities of Practice: Park Listeners Program

January 19, 2023 58:53

Understand the lived experiences of park users and residents.

Find the presentation here.

Featured speakers:

  • Dani Paz Peterson
  • David Johnson

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