|From Schoolyards to . . . Active Communities|
A green schoolyard is an ideal place to attract students and nearby residents on foot or bike. When schools are located in the same neighborhoods as the children they serve, more kids walk or bike to school. When schools are centers of their community — places where people go to play, learn, and gather — more walkable places result. Providing opportunities for people to walk, rather than drive, also helps to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Walkable communities encourage more exercise, healthier life styles and promote less driving — but they don’t happen by accident.
Great communities take great planning. By working together with neighborhood groups, local government officials such as mayors and county leaders, businesspeople, builders, and many others create the best places to live, work, and play.
The link between peoples’ health, community design, and the effect on health and travel is very important. Active communities encourage physical activity as a routine part of daily life; emphasize accessibility and safety for pedestrians such as bike lanes and crosswalks; create parks and other public spaces that are within walking distance of every person; and design places that are inviting and comfortable for all.
Do you live in an active community? How many places are within a quarter of a mile of your home? Within one-half mile? Is there a park or recreation area nearby? Are there sidewalks and bike lanes for you to use? Get involved and help make your community more walkable and healthier.