Ben Handy



Consistently, elected and appointed city government officials around the United States, despite recognizing how important parks are to cities, have expressed that they would cut park funding before other essential services when a city’s budget is limited. For example, New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation (“Parks Department” or “Department”) has seen extreme budget limits. The Parks Department’s limited budget means that most communities do not receive the financial support needed to maintain their local parks. Historically, this has impacted lower-income areas more severely because these areas generally receive less public and private funding for parks, leading to less access to greenspaces. This lack of access to greenspaces—especially in low-income areas—is an important issue because there are many environmental, psychological, social, economic, and physical benefits associated with a community’s access to greenspaces. Furthermore, even when funding is received by a community, it is piecemeal and not enough to address the community’s pressing need for greenspaces and parks. Both the overall lack of funding and the piecemeal approach to limited funding create large discrepancies in access to greenspaces based on a community’s socioeconomic status.



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