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Is Your Park System Fair?

Probably not. Maybe in the historically ethnic sections of town too many parks have broken-down playgrounds or a few too many weeds. Maybe over the past couple of years, dollars have been flowing heavily to the same few parts of town. If so, your city wouldn’t be alone in this. Many places are trying to do better. In Minneapolis, this has meant a revamped approach to park projects.

Since there is never quite enough funding to go around, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board’s new 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan includes a rigorous system to prioritize capital investment and large rehabilitation projects for neighborhood parks. The system is uniquely point-based, and also stands out in its emphasis on racial and economic equity. Continue reading

Some news from around…

  • The New York Times reports that budget problems are forcing many of the nation’s state parks to close their gates or cut services. The National Trust for Historic Preservation agrees, listing State Parks at the top of its “Endangered Places” list.
  • New York City Economic Development gets creative to address unfunded park project, temporarily transforming a planned park site on Manhattan’s East Side into a parking lot and movie storage to cover construction costs. (Observer)
  • Yonah Freemark at Next American City covers the street closure movement, focusing on the recreation and transportation needs of residents.
  • Andrea Appleton at the Baltimore City Paper covers recent activism in Baltimore relating to majestic Druid Hill Park. A bus tour through the park and surrounding neighborhoods introduced the area’s former Jewish residents, who mostly left in the early 1960s, to it’s present day challenges – vacancy, poverty, and abandonment. Through Barry Kessler’s innovative program, we hope community nostalgia will muster support for the park and its users.