Millions of Angelenos use city parks and the programs they offer, yet only amount for 2 percent of the city’s budget. Pledge to help protect funding for Los Angeles City’s parks and park programs, so they remain viable and accessible to all communities. Park programs are a critical part of promoting a stronger, healthier and safer Los Angeles.
The Parks Save! campaign is launching in response to proposed cuts to parks and park programs—organized sports, job training, youth orchestra and hundreds of other activities—in the city’s budget. The campaign will underscore how the economic and social benefits of parks programs far outweigh the short-term revenue that might be generated from cutting these vital services.
A broad and diverse coalition of nonprofits, educators, youth advocates, parents, young people, conservationists and civic leaders will launch the Parks Save! campaign to help protect parks and park programs. The members of Parks Save! believe parks provide valuable services that benefit families, children, and seniors. We must protect these vital services by urging the City of Los Angeles to preserve funding levels for the Department of Recreation and Parks.
Parks Save Our Kids
• Parks and park programs give every child a chance by providing free and low cost programs that are open to all Angelenos. Annually, millions of Angelenos utilize and participate in parks programs.
• More than just a place to play, park programs provide extracurricular recreation and educational programs. Young people, especially low-income and at-risk youth, who participate in organized sports are less likely to drop out of school. At the same time, they are more likely to attend college and land better jobs.
• Through cultural education programs, parks programs help to fill the education gap caused by program cuts at public schools. Programs like the youth orchestra give all kids a chance to learn about music and receive a high quality music education.
Parks Save Our Communities
• Well maintained and utilized parks and parks programs promote safer communities and help reduce crime. In 2010, the Mayor’s anti-gang Summer Night Lights park program had more than 700,000 community participants and resulted in an 11% reduction in gang-related crime during the program’s duration.
• Young people involved in outdoor education programs, like those offered at local parks, are 49% less likely to use drugs and 37% less likely to become teen parents than those kids who did not participate.
Parks Save Our Lives
• Parks and the recreational opportunities that they create collectively save millions of dollars in health-related spending. In Sacramento, which is nearly eight times smaller than Los Angeles, the city saved more than $19.9 million in health care costs because of its park system.
• Parks and park programs promote play and healthy psychological development. The skills learned through play teach kids how to interact and ultimately result in greater success in school and life.
Parks Save Our Economy
• Through innovative partnerships, the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Recreation and Parks are helping put Angelenos back to work. Organizations like Jewish Vocational Services teach Angelenos the skills needed to get back to work. Through the group’s BankWorks program, economically disadvantaged individuals have access to free eight-week workshops that teach the skills needed to work in the banking industry.
• Well-maintained parks and active park programming encourage economic activity. Homes and properties surrounding parks tend to command greater value and generate additional property tax revenue.
Parks Save Los Angeles
• They offer educational, recreational, economic, and health benefits that far surpass their costs. We must preserve and protect the many benefits that park programs provide Angelenos.
Sign the Parks Save! Pledge to ensure continued funding for park programming at: http://www.change.org/petitions/los-angeles-city-council-to-preserve-funding-for-los-angeles-city-parks-and-parks-programming.