Inequities in parks reported nationwide, innovators brainstorm local solutions

Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Public parks are, of course, open to everyone and anyone can enjoy them, but not all parks are created equally.

Linda Hwang of the Trust for Public Land spoke about the issue of park equity in a Q and A session, kicking off a speaker series with Montgomery Parks on Tuesday.

Across the country, TPL data shows parks in majority low-income neighborhoods are only a quarter of the size and serve nearly four times as many people as parks in majority high-income neighborhoods.

Hwang says there are several innovative solutions to address the issue of park inequity. Many of them start with re-imagining the use of existing spaces, like partnering with school systems to use schoolyards as parks.

“We’ve been looking and running our own analysis on retail spaces. Dead and dying malls and retail spaces that have closed down and those parking lots are just sitting there. We’re looking into whether that might also be an opportunity to convert that to green space,” said Hwang.

TPL says data show disparities in parks based on racial majorities, too.

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