Parent volunteers participating on the three Regional Groups we sponsor have assessed a total of 75 local parks for safety, accessibility and fun.
The park assessments, which have taken place in Antioch, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Concord’s Monument Community, and San Pablo, represent the Groups’ focus on urban planning and how it can present barriers or opportunities for children’s health. Safe, accessible, and age-appropriate parks are critical to promoting physical activity and outdoor play for children, particularly families living in Contra Costa’s lower income communities.
About five years ago, members of our parent-led volunteer groups – the Central, East, and West County Regional Groups – conducted a community needs assessment related to childhood obesity.
They learned that while parents wanted their young children to be more physically active, many could not afford the steep fees that come with organized sports or city-run recreation programs. So they decided to do something about it.
The parents approached park and recreation departments in six cities to partner on a new project. First 5 would pay for sports classes, the Regional Group members would conduct outreach to recruit participants, and each city would secure venues and assist with registration. Not long after, low-cost sports classes for young children began in Oakley, Antioch, Bay Point, Concord, San Pablo, and Richmond. Continue reading