Over 130 mayors across the United States have launched a new campaign that aims to provide every resident a public park or green space within a 10 minute walk from their home. Included in that group of mayors is Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss.
“When you look at our city as a whole, and where we need green space and parks, what we find is that we need them in our poorest neighborhoods," Bliss said. "As we look at being environmentally sustainable, we also want to be thinking about environmental justice.”
Bliss, along with 133 other Mayors across the United States, have set a goal that would ensure a park or green space is within walking distance of every child who lives within city limits.
“In some of our neighborhoods in the city, we have densely populated neighborhoods. Those green spaces are absolutely vital to getting outside...we know that for children especially, play and moment is critical for brain development," Bliss said.
The mayors are joined by the Trust for Public Land, the National Recreation and Park Association and the Urban Land Institute who have launched an advocacy campaign. Mayor Bliss says as Grand Rapids continues its expansion and growth, its vital to remember the environment in the process.
“When you think about the future, none of us will be healthy if we don’t have a healthy environment," Bliss said. "So that needs to be embedded in everything that we think about."
Beginning in 2018, Trust for Public land officials say they will work with select cities across the country on measurable policies and strategies to advance the 10-minute walk vision.