The Safe Routes Partnership is excited to introduce the 2020 Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities Grantees. These eight organizations were selected from 99 applications that illustrated the deep need and community support for safer, more accessible parks in communities across the country.
The grantee communities will work closely with Safe Routes Partnership staff to develop action plans aimed at improving safe, equitable access to local parks in their communities. Grantee communities will receive training, individualized consultation and technical assistance, connection with peer communities to learn from one another, an in-person workshop in their community, as well as grants of $12,500 each to begin the implementation of the Safe Routes to Parks action plan.
Meet the Grantees
Blue Zones Klamath Falls, Healthy Klamath | Klamath Falls, Oregon
The goal of Blue Zones Klamath Falls' Safe Routes to Parks project is to support equitable access to our parks and ultimately increase park utilization by all community members. They plan to engage the community, learn about the barriers that exist to assessing community parks, and increase knowledge and utilization of parks and trails through a new wayfinding signage project. They will educate the community and provide users with the essential information they need to “find their way” to parks and within the extensive trail system.
Central Arkansas Library System Foundation | Little Rock, Arkansas
The overall goal of Little Rock’s Safe Routes to Parks project is to engage leaders and community members in an ongoing process to ensure that policies and practices support safe and equitable access to parks. Little Rock would like to increase connections to, from and through parks to neighborhoods and other community destinations. Little Rock Parks and Recreation, Rock Region METRO, and Central Arkansas Library System will launch the project in the Children’s Library and Learning Center neighborhood and then work with the coalition to expand the framework to other parts of the city. The Little Rock Zoo, War Memorial Park, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and St. Vincent’s Hospital are within a half-mile of Children’s Library and Learning Center.
Crim Fitness Foundation | Flint, Michigan
The City of Flint has large park system with and limited resources to manage it. Crim Fitness Foundation is looking to more sustainably engage resident groups involved in maintaining and supporting parks while also advocating for safer transportation infrastructure that supports all users, not just cars.
Future City Inc. | Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth, NJ is a 24-hour historically diverse city abutting a globally key Aerotropolis which includes an international air/seaports and interstate rail/highway systems. Kellogg park is located on the North end of our City very close to this Areotropolis. Future City, Inc. will assess existing conditions and policies that impact 24-hour resident access to Kellogg Park in order to produce a cost-effective, resident-driven policy and infrastructure recommendations that may be replicated in other city parks and public spaces.
Living Streets Alliance | Tucson, Arizona
The City of Tucson just passed a new $225 million bond measure dedicated to funding parks and the infrastructure connecting them. Living Streets Alliance plans to pilot community-driven processes for safety and walkability projects in one specific community in order to create a model for non-traditional community engagement that can be used to make sure new money from the bond measure best serves residents who need it.
Spark | Omaha, Nebraska
The Brown Park Coalition is working to transform the public space in the heart of South Omaha, Nebraska into a vibrant and thriving area that is accessible to all and activated by civic engagement. The Coalition, comprised of neighborhood leaders and local nonprofit organizations has partnered with the Omaha Parks, Recreation and Public Property Department and neighboring schools to improve safety and revitalize the public spaces in this predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. Participation in the Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities program will build on the Brown Park’s current efforts to renovate the park by strengthening our collaboration and investing in improvements to sidewalks, parking, and bilingual park signage.
The Community Builders | Holyoke, Massachusetts
Lyman Terrace, an affordable housing community in Holyoke, MA owned and managed by The Community Builders, in partnership with the City of Holyoke, is collaborating with neighborhood residents to improve Pulaski Park. Pulaski Park, located next to Lyman Terrace, offers an abundance of family activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle and activate community engagement. However, the Park is not utilized due to an unclear entrance and an unsafe reputation. Through improved lighting, signage and painting routes, we will create a visual linkage between Holyoke’s new Canal Walk, Lyman Terrace, and Pulaski Park where residents can access all that the Park and this great city has to offer.
Tuolumne River Trust | Modesto, California
The Tuolumne River Regional Park is a 190-acre park system that is an excellent resource for recreational activities and places to host community gatherings. However, there are significant safety concerns and barriers to safe access (i.e., illegal dumping, homeless encampments, and illicit behavior). The Tuolumne River Trust will collaborate with residents, existing community partners, and local stakeholders to develop an action plan that will improve safe access and organize recreational activities that will bolster the use of the park.