Making the 10-Minute Walk to a Park goal a reality in Tukwila

  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018 2:55pm
  • Opinion

We are proud of our parks and open spaces in Tukwila and know well the many benefits they offer.

We work every day to improve the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors through a quality system of public spaces, programs and events. That’s why I’m supporting the 10-minute walk to a park campaign launched one-year ago today and working to make it a reality.

The campaign, a partnership between mayors from more than 200 cities across the country, the Trust for Public Land, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the Urban Land Institute, is working to ensure that everybody in our great country has access to a park within a 10-minute walk of home, something we are working very hard to achieve in Tukwila.

Over the past year, our city has had the privilege to work in depth with the campaign partners to look at how we can improve park access for all who live in Tukwila.

Today, I’m happy to announce a new commitment we are making to the 10-minute walk vision. We are committed to utilizing our Park, Recreation and Open Space plan to build new parks, leverage existing public land and support best land use around parks through engagement with the community to ensure all voices, including those historically underrepresented, are represented throughout the campaign.

We are also committed to measuring our progress by using a community engagement tool to see if the citizens of Tukwila are satisfied with their nearby parks.

Why are parks so important? Parks are the anchors of healthy, livable communities, providing countless benefits. Take for example the health of our city residents.

Data shows that when people have close access to parks, they exercise more, and as we know, even small amounts of exercise have positive effects on health and well-being.

Parks also produce important social and community benefits, from improving the neighborhood economy, creating a space for people to gather across all cultures and backgrounds, to offering recreational opportunities for at-risk youth and low-income children and families.

Access to safe, quality public parks with robust programming has been strongly linked to reductions in crime and reduced juvenile delinquency. And even on infrastructure, parks can reduce the cost of capturing and processing stormwater to supporting green infrastructure that improves our environment.

Today, along with announcing our commitment to pursue the 10-minute walk goal, we are celebrating the first ever national walk to a park day to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the 10-minute walk to a park campaign.

The day is a way to elevate the important of parks and open spaces and celebrate the importance of having a park a 10-minute walk from home.

On Oct. 10 I encourage you to walk to your nearest park with your friends, children, spouses and colleagues and take a moment to enjoy our wonderful city parks and raise the awareness for all to have access to nature close to home.

This 10-minute walk goal is transformational public policy to re-envision how to design and use park space. My administration is committed to working to ensure everyone in Tukwila has access to a quality park or open space within a 10-minute walk of home.

Tukwila Mayor Allen Ekberg

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