Fort Worth Joins New Program to Accelerate Park Equity – Welcome to the City of Fort Worth

Posted on July 08, 2022

Yesterday, Mayor Mattie Parker announced that the City of Fort Worth will join as an inaugural member of the 10-Minute Walk Park Equity Accelerator, an initiative of the Trust for Public Land, which supports a cohort of cities across the United States with funding and expertise to overcome long-standing barriers to outdoor equity.

“As Fort Worth continues to grow at a rapid pace, conserving our green spaces and investing in park infrastructure will be essential to continuing to provide the highest quality of life for residents,” Parker said. “I am thrilled that Fort Worth has been selected to participate in TPL’s 10-Minute Walk Program Equity Accelerator to accelerate our efforts to ensure that every resident in every ZIP code can enjoy the health benefits , the environment and the community to have near -Home access to parks.

Created with support from the JPB Foundation in 2017, the Trust for Public Land’s 10-Minute Walk program currently works with more than 300 mayors and municipal leaders from 48 states to close the parks equity gap and address the pressing needs of cities in health, resilience, environmental protection, economic development and community development through parks.

TPL’s 10-Minute Walk Park Equity Accelerator is a unique initiative that addresses the root causes of park inequity shared by many 10-Minute Walk champion cities. The Accelerator will direct resources and provide technical assistance to address park equity challenges through policy change and innovation, with support from TPL, cross-sector partners, and other experts. Accelerator Cities will field test policy ideas over a 12-15 month period; TPL will use the results to support the scaling up of the model in other cities.

According to TPL data, 61% of Fort Worth residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. The city’s 301 parks use 6% of the city’s territory, compared to the national median of 15%. (Source.) Fort Worth is currently working on several projects, recognizing the vital role that parks and green spaces can play in promoting health, climate and neighborhood revitalization and the unique challenges of creating pedestrian park opportunities in a city. whose population is spread over a wide area.

“It’s exciting to be selected as part of TPL’s inaugural Park Equity Accelerator 10-Minute Walk program. We look forward to seeing what value TPL can add to our ongoing goal of providing accessible, quality parks for Fort Worth and for generations to come,” said Richard Zavala, Fort Worth Department of Parks and Recreation Director.

The first round of 10-Minute Walk Equity Accelerator Cities was selected based on its commitment to advancing the goals of local parks; willingness to explore, experiment and adopt new strategies or approaches; and the potential to advance understanding on the ground around a common issue or challenge. The cities and their area of ​​intervention include:

  • Chattanooga, TN. Resource and sustain high-quality, inclusive community engagement and decision-making to maximize health, climate, community, and equity outcomes in park planning.
  • Cleveland, Ohio. Development of a strategic and equitable resource allocation framework for local parks, based on park quality.
  • Fort Worth, TX. Conversion of non-traditional spaces and developer-owned land into parks.
  • Lexington, Kentucky. Incorporate community priorities into the parks and greenspace planning process and connect residents most affected by parks inequities with resources and capacity to advocate for policy change.
  • Los Angeles, California. Expand the “toolbox” of policies and planning strategies to improve access to parks and ensure equitable access to the multiple benefits of parks, while mitigating unintended consequences that may impact the community.
  • Scranton, Pennsylvania. Improve safe and accessible connectivity to local parks.

The goal of the Park Equity Accelerator is to understand how policies and practices can systematically improve access to and quality of local parks; and what strategies contribute to the realization of these changes. Through technical assistance, the objectives of 10-Minute Walk Park Equity Accelerator are twofold:

  1. Boost local efforts and achieve meaningful progress in participating cities.
  2. Document and disseminate learnings that can advance field-scale understanding around common challenges and increase awareness of promising solutions.

“We know that parks are essential for healthy communities and that investing in parks is a game-changer for resilient and thriving cities. However, years of policy and practice have resulted in underinvestment in neighborhoods, exacerbating this equity deficit in parks and depriving millions of people of the health, climate and societal benefits of close access. home outdoors,” said Bianca Shulaker, Senior Director of TPL’s 10 Minute Walk Program. “Given the urgency and magnitude of this gap in nature, we are excited to launch these partnerships with communities to advance policy and other systemic changes that will accelerate equitable access to spaces for quality park. »

Photo: Fort Worth’s goal is to provide accessible, quality parks for generations to come.

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Ryan H. Bowman