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(Un)intended Consequences Jane H. Adams, Executive Director California Park & Recreation Society

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Presentation on theme: "(Un)intended Consequences Jane H. Adams, Executive Director California Park & Recreation Society"— Presentation transcript:

1 (Un)intended Consequences Jane H. Adams, Executive Director California Park & Recreation Society

2 Disclaimer The opinions expressed in this presentation belong to the presenter after research (to identify the facts), asking others, and listening to many.

3 Californians Value Parks 98% of California’s households visit a park at least once a year; 2/3 rd visit at least once a month. 50% of California’s households participate in an organized recreation or park program. “Parks” are very different than “programs;” and each has many different components that describe what is a “park” or a “program.” The benefits of parks are not the benefits of programs. Users & elected officials easily identify benefits to them personally, their family & friends.

4 Now in Parks & Recreation Parks / Recreation receiving less general fund support – 53% in 2012 - 57% in 2010 – 40% cut park acquisition; 57% cut development Parks / Recreation receiving less non general fund support – 37% in 2012 - 46% in 2010 – 40% non general fund $$ from fees/charges Few agencies have autonomous taxing authority

5 Now in Parks & Recreation Parks / Recreation experiences greater reductions than other departments – 37% in 2012; 33% in 2010 Cost recovery range from 0% to 100%; mostly over 40% Don’t expect budget situation to change until FY 15/16 “We have had our budget reduced by over ½ in past few years; in FY 11/12 council waived many athletic youth group and school district fees.”

6 Now in Parks & Recreation Less FTE / PTE personnel – Fewer programs, special events, classes – Reduced operating hours; 64% reduced access to facilities – Little change to park access – No new staff in spite of new facilities / parks – Changed park maintenance standards

7 (Un)intended Consequences Declining quality of life of residents – Parks / air quality – Parks / physical health – Parks / youth development – Parks / mental health – Parks / social health

8 Where You Live is Important “The obesity epidemic is a multi-faceted issue that reflects changes in our social, economic, and built environments over many years. It is an issue that will require innovative actions, a shared vision, and a collaborative approach to resolve.” (CA Obesity Prevention Plan, 2010) 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 children 1 2 3 teens 1 2 adults Proportionally higher obesity rates are residents of Latino, American Indian, African American, & Pacific Islander descent, those from low income households and those with disabilities. West LA: 3 in 10 adults South LA: 7 in 10 adults

9 Impact of Obesity Children – Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, asthma – Vitamin D deficiency (reversed by 10-15 min of sun) – Predicts likelihood of obesity as an adult (70-80%) – Increased likelihood of emotional & social problems Lack of friends / support networks Behavior problems in schools / community Feelings of depression / inadequacy Adults -Hypertension, Type 2 diabetes -Cancers, mobility due to osteoarthritis -Cardiovascular disease -Greater chance of institutional living due to health

10 What Green Does More GreenLess Green Community ImpactMore positive social interaction Greater shared use of space Residents desire more connection with others Stronger neighborhood ties; sense of community More mutual trust Willing to help others Increased property values More aggression Violence Violent crime Property crime Graffiti Less people on the street Less walking Fear Decreased property value Individual ImpactBetter cognitive functioning More self discipline / impulse control Greater mental health Greater resilience Support high levels of physical activity Attention deficit More sadness Clinical depression Prone to stress / anxiety Great risk of childhood obesity Higher mortality of young / older adults

11 (Un)intended Consequences Increase neighborhood blight – Research links violence to reduced healthy eating & active living – Fear, neglect, graffiti – No one “cares” – why should I? – Residents detach from neighborhood / community / each other Decrease in property values / property tax revenue Degradation of natural environment – Decline of plants, soil, turf, trees, climate change Decrease life span of facility – Roofs, irrigation, pools, restrooms, pavilions, tennis courts, trails

12 (Un)intended Consequences Reduced supervision = opportunity for malfeasance, personnel conflicts, contract failure Increased safety issues for personnel & residents – Accidents, claims, legal actions, insurance costs, equipment failure; reduce / close facilities Increased time to get the work done / resident complaints – Less staff / increased time to repair, fix, replace, higher costs Impact to children/youth – Morbidity / chronic disease – Crime / mischief between 3-6 pm / unsupervised – Childhood stress – Disassociation

13 What Californians Value Preservation of, and access to, outdoor spaces Minimal development / nearly natural state Spaces with facilities for play, exercise, and group sports

14 Activities & programs targeted to juveniles that are healthy, safe & fun Children are free to play & be active What Californians Value

15 Activities to facilitate social & community connections & advance human development What Californians Value

16 * Outdoor spaces for play & exercise

17 Serenity and awe of nature now…and in the future What Californians Value

18 Insights Break the silos! P/R, transit, planning, food advocates, public health, public works, health providers, CBOs, schools, business Focus! Improve walkability, access to parks/open space, recreational facilities, joint use of schools and neighborhood safety Fail! To succeed: encourage / reward creativity, trials, failures Leverage: resources & people Get a compelling vision Research! Many promising practices Remember! Parks / Recreation contributes to your resident’s social, mental, & physical health


20 It’s Not About US…it’s About THEM!

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