• Who We Are

    City Parks Blog is a joint effort of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land and the City Parks Alliance to chronicle the news and issues of the urban park movement. Read more about us.
  • Urban Park Issues

  • Enter your email address to receive notifications of new City Parks Blog posts by email.

  • Archives

  • Urban Green Cover Ad

Partnerships in Tough Times

Jack Foley of L.A.’s People for Parks pens an op-ed in the LA Daily News on the need for parks in tough times. (L.A. parks are facing a deep budget cut, as the city scrambles to reconcile lower revenues.)

The budget crisis is forcing us to rethink our lifestyle. This isn’t our first economic downturn, though, and Americans have consistently come to the conclusion that public recreation and parks are even more important when times are bad. At the dawn of the 20th century, concerned citizens and churches used recreation to soften the harsh urban realities of child labor, crowded tenement houses and crime. In Chicago, Jane Adams organized Hull House to socialize and celebrate European immigrants. The YMCA, YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the playground movement were founded during this period. During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt put people to work building WPA projects, including many of Los Angeles’ great public parks. The thinking was that public recreation was necessary to humanize the excesses of capitalism. Today, instead of cutting programs and increasing fees, city and county officials should develop more effective ways to provide services, especially in low-income communities. Under a growing trend of “smart recreation,” activities are designed to achieve social goals…….A hallmark of this new approach is partnership with private sector and nonprofit groups.

Easier said than done, but Foley goes on to describe some of the initiatives his group is undertaking in partnership with private foundations, organizations and local government that can acheive the above goals.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s