When you picture a healthy community, there’s a good chance that vision includes people being active in a park – jogging by a lake, shooting hoops, playing on a playground. Parks support physical activity, community connectivity, and the health and happiness benefits of spending time outdoors.
Yet modern life is sedentary for far too many of us. Sitting at desks, screen time, and leading busy lives means that Central Texans are not moving enough and it’s negatively impacting our health.
The Austin area ranks in the middle of the 100 largest cities in the US in terms of how parks meet community needs. While Central Texas is blessed with many acres of greenspace, more needs to be done to enhance opportunities at these parks to support physical activity. Moreover, we need to ensure that our local parks are safe, vibrant physical activity assets.
Our goal is to increase opportunities for and remove barriers to physical activity through our Active Parks Initiative.
St. David’s Foundation will work with low-income populations, communities of color, and rural communities with the highest needs and opportunities to increase park access and equity. Geographically, such park investments are most needed in Travis County’s eastern crescent and in Bastrop and Caldwell counties. These communities also tend to harbor higher rates of obesity and chronic disease.
Our approach to physical activity includes:
Elizabeth Krause, Senior Program Officer
“Some of my most content times are when I’m at a beautiful park with my children watching their bodies and spirits come fully alive. I envision a Central Texas in which everyone has easy and safe access to a vibrant park that supports the range of ways people enjoy being active together.”
Marlon Connley of the Trust for Public Land, Earl Maxwell of St. David’s Foundation, Collin Wallis of Austin Parks Foundation, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, and St. David’s Foundation Board Chair Peter Pincoffs.