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Improving Access and Use of Green Space in Neighborhoods of Color for Health

WHEREAS, a 2020 article entitled Public Space, Park Space, and Racialized Space, suggest green space and public parks are an important community resource to promote physical activity, mental health, and a sense of community, with access to such spaces emerging as a critical component of emotional and physical wellbeing; and


WHEREAS, a 2020 study from the Centers for Disease control (CDC), Recommendation for Keeping Parks and Greens Space Accessible for Mental and Physical Health during COVID-19, asserts that access and use of such spaces has positive physical and mental health benefits. In addition, during COVID-19 and other pandemics, such spaces allow for safe physical distancing; and


WHEREAS, a 2014 published National Institutes of Health (NIH) study, entitled Proximity to Urban Parks and Mental Health, documents individuals who have better access to such places are more likely to be physically active, less stressed, and less likely to be overweight; and

WHEREAS, NIH data also suggest increased outdoor activities to maximize the associated benefits of green space and public parks is dependent on having easy access and proximity to such space; and


WHEREAS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research of 2014 and 2020 demonstrates the correlation between less access to open and green space to being less likely to meet CDC physical activity recommendations; and


WHEREAS, a 2020 report, led by the Hispanic Access Foundation and the Center for American Progress, found that black and brown communities are nearly three times more likely to have less access to open green spaces compared to white communities; and


WHEREAS, 2020 research by Trust for Public Land highlights parks and green spaces in communities of brown and black people are half the size and five times as crowded than space in white communities, and parks serving majority low-income households are on average four times smaller and four times more crowded than parks that serve higher income households; and


WHEREAS, a 2020 article titled Millions of Americans Lack Access to Quality Parks reveals, as a result of years of low investment in public parks and green spaces in communities with low-income and people of color, 100 million Americans, including 27 million children, have been left without access to decent nearby green spaces; and


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People advocate that federal, state, and local governments fund acquisition, a provision more open and green spaces, including tree canopy and appropriate amenities in communities where black and brown people live.

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