Why Are Parks Important
- Parks are a crucial part of any community. From development of children to the happiness of everyone walking through the neighborhood, they serve as an environmental backbone of a City filling scores of different uses. From specialized functions to simply providing visual appeal for residents making their front yards seem a little bit larger, parks act to define the shape and feel of a city and the community it supports. They function as a cognizant tool for community revitalization.
- Parks provide fundamental benefits to our community in environment, aesthetic, and recreational ways. They can improve property values, bring in homebuyers and workers, and increase municipal revenue, while offering spaces for local businesses to host supporting events, serving as a source of positive economic benefits. Investments that improve a community’s quality of life create an important cycle: high quality-of-life locations attract workers, which attract employers, which in turn attract even more investors and jobs. To find out more information about Middletown economics, click here!
Community Engagement and Safer Neighborhoods
When planning and programming includes the process of working collaboratively with individuals and groups to achieve specific goals, residents are engaged in the design of their community fostering a sense of community and better enabling parks meeting the needs of those they serve. Community involvement is not only integral to the success of a parks system, but it is also important in creating neighborhoods with fewer violent and property crimes, where neighbors support and protect one another. Check out your community's Neighborhood Watch Program here!
Environmental Sustainability and Green Infrastructure
- Just as cities grow and expand their built infrastructure, such as roads and sewers, their green network needs to expand as well. Interconnected systems of green space help conserve natural ecosystem values and functions, manage storm water and mitigate flooding efficiently, sustain clean air, and reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect. Providing a wide array of benefits and services to people and wildlife, parks can support our urban forests’ health and value. Green infrastructure is a community’s environmental life support system, offering a framework for environmental and economic sustainability.
Promote Public Health and Child Development
- Now more than ever people value the time they are spending in city parks. Whether walking a dog, hiking through Bull’s Run Arboretum, or running through a splashpad, these leisure amenities can provide a number of health benefits by providing direct contact with nature and a cleaner environment, and supporting opportunities for physical activity and social interaction. A telephone survey conducted for the American Public Health Association found that 75 percent of adults believe parks and recreation must play an important role in addressing America's obesity crisis. For tips on getting children active click here and for more information on physical activity basics click here!
Promote the Arts and Cultural Programs
- Parks have always been an integral and supportive setting for arts and cultural programs. From an orchestral concert on the Mall at Central Park in 1910 to Simon and Garfunkel on the Great Lawn in 1981 to the Red Rocks venue in Morrison, Colorado, parks have been hosting musical events for many years. Not only are parks, plazas, and urban cores supporting musical aspirations such as our own Broad Street Bash, but they are also the perfect environments for dance, theater, filming, painting, and drawing, the list goes on and on.
Smart Growth and Tourism
Public parks often create the quiet hum of an engine that drives tourism and smart growth in many communities. In a simplified tourism model, visitors use some mode of transportation to leave their homes and travel to attractions, which are supported by various kinds of services, such as hotels/motels, restaurants, and retailing, sometime this attraction is a musical event at a park as mentioned above. Parks, broadly including parkland, plazas, landscaped boulevards, waterfront promenades, and public gardens, also define the layout, real estate value, traffic flow, public events, and the civic culture of our communities. With open spaces providing an underlying framework of systems and connectivity, our cities and neighborhoods take on structure, beauty, breathing room and value.