Frequently asked questions
Q. What are the goals of the healthy parks plan?
A. The Healthy Parks Plan will help improve community health by expanding access to the benefits of parks—including increased opportunities for physical activity. The plan will also advance equity in the region by directly engaging communities with the greatest need.
Q. HOW WILL THE PROJECT WORK?
A. This project will:
• Engage local community members in identifying park priorities and obstacles to using parks for physical activity
• Identify the park investments that will do the most to improve community health and equity
• Empower community groups to be active stewards of local parks and encourage health-focused park programming
• Develop a web-based decision-support tool that combines park and health data with community perspectives to help local partners identify opportunities for community investment
• Raise awareness about the connections between park access, equity, and community health
Q.WHAT IS THE ST. DAVID'S FOUNDATION?
A. The St. David’s Foundation reinvests proceeds from St. David’s HealthCare to help build the healthiest community in the world. This commitment to community health includes increasing opportunities for physical activity. Other St. David’s activities have included scholarships for aspiring health professionals, the largest mobile dental program in the country, safety net clinics, support for agencies serving older adults, mental health initiatives, and support for healthy living initiatives. The St. David’s Foundation plans to invest more than $75 million to connect thousands of low-income people to a full range of health services. The foundation believes good health returns great benefits to our community.
Q. WHY IS THE HEALTHY PARKS PLAN IMPORTANT?
A. Local parks and trails provide enormous community health benefits. Their use has been shown to lower stress, blood pressure, and the risk of chronic health issues. Many communities in the three-county study area face high rates of chronic disease and have limited access to the benefits of parks. By incorporating diverse community perspectives, the best available data, and input from local experts, this project will inform park planning to maximize health benefits, improve equity, and help stakeholders take advantage of the most promising local opportunities.
Q. how long will this project take?
A. The Healthy Parks Plan will be carried out from January 2018 through April 2019 in three overlapping phases. The first phase of the project will focus on community engagement, and will include steering committee meetings, interviews and focus groups, speak out events, a telephone poll, and community workshops. The second phase of the project will involve an analysis of park resources, access, and quality, as well as a study of community health and equity in the three counties. This process will culminate in the creation of a decision-support tool and detailed recommendations for strategic park improvements and programming. The third phase of the project will focus on communicating the plan’s results. It will involve the creation of an interactive online story map, a summary report, a brochure, and several conceptual park designs.