March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26

CONSERVATION
Through intentional
efforts, cities can
determine priorities for
creating new natural
areas if the desired
result is to provide more
equitable access.
Urban Nature and Intentionality:
Elevating Urban Biodiversity and Equity
By Catherine L. Werner
D
oes where you live impact your ability to access nature? Should
it? Research has shown providing connections between people
and nature often translates to beneficial outcomes, like improved
health and well-being.
A national
nonprofit
organization,
The Trust For Public
Land (TPL), conducts an annual
ParkScore assessment to evaluate
how well residents of the 100
largest U.S. cities can access green
space, parks and trails (green space)
within a 10-minute walk of their
home. I'm proud of the efforts taken
in St. Louis that have resulted in
nearly 98 percent of our residents
having access to green space, especially
when the national average is
merely 55 percent.
Through intentional efforts, cities
can determine priorities for creating
new natural areas if the desired result
is to provide more equitable access.
TPL offers tools that can help
urban planners apply an equity lens
in this effort. With tools like these
and the American Forests Tree Equity
Score, cities are better able to
target activities so that people of color
and low-income communities can
more readily access green spaces.
Ensuring there is equitable access
to nature appears to be a priority for
many cities as they strive to improve
the quality of life for their residents,
including those who are most at risk
or in need. Some cities are specifically
26 Parks & Recreation | MARCH 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
attempting to redress the legacies of
historic practices now understood as
systemic racism, such as redlining.
Tree-planting efforts, gardening
programs and park additions can
all help make it easier for urban
dwellers to connect with nature on a
regular basis. Purposefully utilizing
green-space enhancements to benefit
underserved populations living in
urban areas experiencing blight,
neglect or vacancy is an investment
in both the social fabric and natural
infrastructure of a city.
The Opportunity and
Imperative of Urban
Natural Resources
Cities can offer much more than
access to nature, or even equitable
access to nature. Is it enough to rePHOTO
COURTESY OF CATHERINE L. WERNER

March 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2022 - Parks & Recreation

March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
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March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com