Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes two “Frontline Parks“ to promote inspiring examples of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship across the country in the face of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures and urban neighborhood decay.
February’s selections highlight the importance of recreation in urban areas.
One of the primary functions of urban parks is to provide places for recreation. The types of recreational opportunities can be influenced by park size, neighborhood demographics and demand, community design culture, and, of course, funding. We typically think of city parks as places developed with ballfields ,sport courts, playgrounds, and swimming or spray pools. Larger parks may have recreation centers or field houses. But there is a different sort of urban park, too. Across the country, cities are preserving and re-establishing natural areas and developing nature-based recreational experiences within their borders. These parks feature trails, restored habitats, and environmental centers. And though it seems that these types of parks would have nothing in common, this month’s featured parks share something quite significant: park partnerships that deliver results.
New York City is the most urbanized place in the United States. And yet, in the middle of Staten Island, there beats a green heart of forests, meadows, streams, trails, and parks. The 2800-acre ribbon of natural beauty, the Greenbelt, provides many nature-based recreational opportunities such as hiking, bird-watching, and environmental education programs. New Yorkers can enter this place of respite through one of the many public access points along the length of the greenway. This valuable gem is protected through a partnership between the Greenbelt Conservancy and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Click here to read more.
Fifty years ago, on the site of what is now Gilbert Lindsay Park in Los Angeles, stood Wrigley Field, a ballpark hosting minor league teams in the Los Angeles area. Today, instead of baseball, the park hosts family gatherings and activities at one of its many recreational facilities, such as the synthetic soccer field donated by Nike, the new recreation center, or the inclusive Boundless Playground. Thanks to the many partners and donors who stepped forward to convert this park from neighborhood eyesore to a thriving center of community, neighborhood residents now have a safe place to play. Site furnishings in the park were manufactured by DuMor, Inc. Read more