This June, nearly 30 members of the East County Regional Group (ECRG) graduated from a six-month training program on land use policy organized by First 5 Contra Costa, Contra Costa Health Services, Pacific Institute, and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP). The project was funded by Kaiser Permanente and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The Land Use Planning School was the first of its kind in the region to train community residents on important land use concepts and advocacy skills to promote healthier and safer communities for children and families. The school consisted of six sessions covering land use equity, zoning, pollution, food access, park planning, campaign development, and messaging/strategic communication. Each session included expert guest speakers from the Bay Area as well as skits, games, and other dynamic learning exercises. Continue reading
First 5 Contra Costa’s parent led East County Regional Group, along with folks from the Healthy and Active Before 5 collaborative, set out to answer this question by visiting every park in the city. Armed with a check list and rating system, and their children to “test drive” the park, the group came up with their top three play spaces: Mariner, Stoneman, and Highlands Ranch.
Rating criteria included the type of amenities available (e.g., restrooms, seating, shade, water fountain), the condition of the play equipment and park grounds, safety concerns, creativity of play environment, and accommodations for children with special needs. Parents also rated how well their children liked the park and playground. Continue reading