You may have already heard of a food desert, but what about a play desert? A play desert is a neighborhood that lacks convenient access to safe places to play, like public parks.
Our new guide, A Remedy for Play Deserts, will help you identify play deserts and show you how to improve playability using community use of school property.
Convenient access means kids can walk or bike to a park within a half-mile of where they live. People who have parks and recreation facilities in their neighborhoods are more likely to be physically active and have lower chances of being overweight.
Low-income neighborhoods often have fewer parks and recreational facilities, and families in these neighborhoods may not have a car or the money to join private recreation facilities.
In some citiess, planning, zoning laws or budget may not allow for building a new park. In this case, the problem needs a collaborative solution like community use of school property.
Community use of school property paves the way for the public to use school recreational amenities like playgrounds and ball fields on school property.
Even though roughly 500 school districts in Missouri allow community use of some kind, scheduling, liability risks and funding often limit community use of school property.
KC Healthy Kids offers policy resources and best practices to empower communities and schools to work together to reduce those barriers and establish community use agreements.
Get A Remedy for Play Deserts and five other guides in the series here.