NEW ROCHELLE, NY — In October of 2017, Mayor Bramson joined 134 of the nation’s most influential mayors, The Trust for Public Land, (TPI) National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and Urban Land Institute (ULI) in launching an historic “10-minute walk” parks advocacy campaign, establishing the ambitious goal that all Americans should live within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of a high-quality park or green space. As part of this “10-Minute Walk” Campaign, New Rochelle was recently selected to receive $40,000 in grant funding from NRPA to support City planning efforts that help increase access to high-quality parks within a 10-minute walk.
One of just 12 cities selected to receive this grant funding, New Rochelle currently has an impressive 91 percent of people living within a 10-minute walk of a park. While this number is strong, there are still significant barriers for many residents to reach these facilities. The grant funding provided by NRPA will help the City identify and analyze these barriers and determine solutions to overcome them; and provides access to a variety of tools and resources, including TPL’s Park Serve® and Parkology and ULI’s Advisory Services.
“Our project goal will focus on reducing barriers to park access in underserved communities, improve environmental conditions and community health, and to expand access to nature,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.
“New Rochelle’s existing park and recreation facilities- and their associated programming- are known. What is not clear is where the 10-minute walk standard is not being met, and what barriers exist to meeting the standard throughout the City”, stated Parks & Recreation Commissioner Bill Zimmermann.
“At NRPA we believe everyone deserves a great park,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “That’s why we’re proud to help lead this effort — providing cities with the tools and resources necessary to make the 10-minute walk goal a reality.”
Launched in 2017, the 10-Minute Walk campaign establishes the ambitious goal that everyone in the United States should live within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of a high-quality park or green space. A bipartisan group of nearly 200 mayors have joined this effort, which will require major advances in park finance and construction; zoning changes to encourage park development; embedding this goal into city park’s master plans; the expansion of “joint use” agreements that open school playgrounds, tracks, and gyms for public use after hours and on weekends; and other innovations.
Studies show that high-quality parks provide a wide range of benefits to urban residents and cities themselves. These include physical and mental health benefits, by providing opportunities to be physically active and to interact with nature; economic benefits by boosting business and helping to revitalize neighborhoods; community-building benefits by providing opportunities for neighbors to interact with each other and work together to improve their surroundings; and environmental benefits by cleaning and cooling the air, improving climate resilience, and providing opportunities for environmental education.