Why a Healthy Parks Plan for Pasadena?
Healthier parks create healthier communities. Access to high-quality parks attracts businesses, protects air and water quality, controls flooding, and improves community health by strengthening social ties, reducing stress, and lowering rates of chronic diseases. The Healthy Parks Plan will identify the best opportunities for new parks, park improvements, park programming, and park funding and maintenance through extensive community engagement and rigorous analysis of scientific data. The Pasadena Healthy Parks Plan is being led by the Houston Parks Board in partnership with Asakura Robinson and Land and Water Connections Consulting. It is being funded by generous support from the Houston Endowment and Pasadena Vibrant Community, an initiative of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center made possible by an investment from and collaboration with Shell Oil Company.
The Advisory Committee for the Healthy Parks Plan met for the first time on April 24. Members of the Advisory Committee represent over 20 diverse local, regional, and state organizations and agencies, including Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Pasadena Independent School District, Harris County Public Health, YMCA of Greater Houston, and Lone Star Legal Aid. Community engagement for the project will be “equity-driven” meaning that partners will focus on minimizing barriers to participation and will focus particular attention on reaching underrepresented and underserved residents. Community engagement will be conducted in both Spanish and English and will include community workshops, interviews, focus groups, intercept surveys, “speak-outs,” an online survey, and a demographically representative telephone poll.Community workshops will be open house events where residents have opportunities to give deeper input about their priorities. Speak-outs will allow the project team to get input from residents at existing events and popular community sites. The project will be completed in the summer of 2020.