Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Parks & Parks Funding

This Sacramento Bee editorial notes the difficulty that local government is having developing new parks and funding existing parks.

Having enough resources to properly develop and maintain parks is an issue related to our mission of: “Preserve, Protect, and Strengthen the American River Parkway, Our Community’s Natural Heart”.

Parks are vital to a region’s well-being, and it is crucial that local leadership—who individually understand this, surely—collectively develop a strategy to ensure parks are developed and funded.

An excerpt from the editorial.

“Sacramento has a stated goal of providing a park within a half-mile radius of every city resident. Another goal calls for at least 2.5 acres of neighborhood parkland and at least 2.5 acres of community parkland for every 1,000 residents in each city planning area.

“Yet for residents in certain neighborhoods, those goals seem like a mirage.

“Based on its population, the Fruitridge/Broadway area should have about 302 acres of neighborhood and community parks. Only 153 acres exist….

“Plotted on a map, Sacramento city's parkland reveals a geography of disparity. North Natomas, with the most parks acreage per person, is the only one of the 10 community planning areas without a shortage. The central city, Fruitridge/Broadway, east Sacramento and south Sacramento areas have some of the biggest unmet needs.

“The age of each neighborhood, rather than relative affluence, appears to be the driving factor in explaining the "haves" and "have nots." Since 1981, the city has required developers to dedicate parkland in new subdivisions, or pay fees to the city. Yet under state law, those fees must be used for nearby parks and cannot be shifted to needy areas.

“Overall, Sacramento added 36 new parks, playgrounds or community gardens between July 2006 and June 2009. Only a handful were in the neighborhoods that now show a deficiency.”