Easy access to parks, green spaces, and recreation areas are critical to the wellbeing of urban communities. From improving the health and wellness of urban citizens to creating a healthier physical environment, city parks are vital to the future of America’s cities.
Open space is a key component of urban infrastructure providing valuable economic, health and ecosystem benefits, but many urban neighborhoods still lack access to parks and recreation opportunities. The LWCF is an important source of funding for local communities to create and protect green spaces in urban areas.
Parks attract residents and businesses, leverage private investment, generate jobs and lower infrastructure costs.
Plentiful urban parks are critical to improving the health of Americans. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) research shows a clear correlation to green spaces and likelihood of exercise. Open spaces in cities are an important part of the solution to reducing obesity and its associated public health costs. Exercise reduces anxiety and depression, and can help alleviate symptoms of a variety of mental health conditions, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Parks clean the air and water, help with storm water management and keep cities cooler.
Urban trees in the U.S. remove 711,000 tons of air pollution annually, at a value of $3.8 billion, not only saving money but also improving public health.
Research shows that there is less crime in residential areas close to parks, in part
because these green spaces are frequent gathering places for community members.