October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47

Equity and community engagement
were central to grantees' park access
work.
learned of deep-rooted barriers to
access that were not only physical
barriers, but also were grounded
in a mistrust of government. This
development led the agency to
cultivate
new partnerships
with
community-based organizations to
build trust and deliver on promises
for the community.
In 2018, Denver completed its
Neighborhood Equity Index and
found that the city's most vulnerable
neighborhoods - which have
high numbers of people of color and
high-poverty rates - lack access to
high-quality parks or, in some cases,
any park. To address this injustice,
Denver voters passed a 0.25 percent
sales tax that provides a dedicated
funding stream for park and recreation
professionals to improve park
quality and acquire land for new
parks in park-poor areas. Through
this grant, Denver's park and recreation
professionals held public meetings,
hired additional staff dedicated
to managing parkland acquisition
and built out a framework to develop
their land acquisition plan. In June
2021, the city completed Denver
Parks and Recreation's Strategic Acquisition
Plan to close its 10-minute
walk gap. Access to
high-quality
parks and recreation improves mental
and physical health, environmental
resilience, safety and social cohesion.
Ensuring everyone has access
to parks and recreation is part of the
answer to addressing the harm and
disinvestment done to Black, Indigenous
and Latino communities.
Access to Parks and Recreation
Is Restorative Justice
In Tacoma, the Eastside Community
Center represents why access
to parks and recreation is a form of
justice. The East Side community
of Tacoma had long faced disinvestment.
The neighborhood was
redlined (tinyurl.com/37tutf33) in
the 1930s by the Home Owners'
Loan Corporation because it was
a low-income, immigrant community.
In the following decades, the
neighborhood would see a school,
pool and library built and later
closed. The community lacked safe
gathering spaces. It took a tragic
event and a motivated, tenacious
mother to change that.
As park and recreation professionals
toured the community center
in 2019, they heard the powerful
story of the impetus for the community
center from Shalisa Hayes,
mother of Billy Ray Shirley III. In
2011, Shirley, who was 17 years old,
went to a party to give someone a
ride home when a fight broke out.
He and a friend collected another
friend and were leaving when
someone came up from behind
and shot Shirley in the back, killing
him. According to Hayes, Shirley
often would talk about the need
for a safe space for kids on the East
Side. At her son's funeral, Hayes
announced that she would pursue
getting a community center built in
their neighborhood. Friends, family
and neighbors joined the effort and
convinced their elected officials to
make Shirley's dream a reality.
It was a difficult and tumultuous
effort. Hayes and community
members advocated for years and
spent
countless
hours
debating
what the space would include, balancing
their desired amenities, like
a pool, with what they thought
would be realistic and affordable.
The determination and courage
of a mother shone through when
Hayes, in need of additional funding,
went to a summit in Tacoma
that Governor Jay Inslee was attending
and found her moment
when he and his staff were getting
on an elevator. She gave the governor
her elevator pitch and got
$2.5 million in his next budget. In
2018, the 55,000-square-foot, $32
million community center opened,
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| Parks & Recreation
47
http://www.tinyurl.com/37tutf33

October 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of October 2021 - Parks & Recreation

October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
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October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
October 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
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