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Rooted In NYC Survey reveals stats on parks in the Bronx

Bronx Times
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A national and environmentally-friendly bank recently conducted a survey which revealed interesting info about our parks.

TD Bank, one of the 10 largest banks in the United States, recently conducted a Rooted In NYC Survey, which resulting in numerous stats about the borough’s parks, as part of TD’s new initiative TD Forests: Rooted In NYC.

According to TD Bank, the survey’s results revealed that 92 percent of Bronx residents believe that forests and other natural areas are important to the health of the community, but only 59 percent of those Bronx residents know which organizations and people are taking action in their community to create more parks and green spaces.

The survey also showed that just over one in three (about 34 percent of Bronx residents) believe there are not enough parks and shared green spaces in their neighborhood.

Meanwhile, 81 percent of those who live in the Bronx stated that they live within a 15-minute walk of a local park or shared green space

In addition, 42 percent of Bronx residents visit a local park or shared green space at least once a week.

The two statistics regarding lack of knowledge of organizations and weekly visits to parks seem to suggest that many residents have not been introduced to park-affiliated groups while also not having access to shared green spaces.

The survey’s results also show that less than half of Bronx residents don’t visit a park or local green spaces at least once a week.

Since over 90 percent of Bronx residents believe parks and shared green spaces are important, the results also suggest the lack of Bronxites’ weekly visits to parks is due to inaccessibility.

“Having this data about parks in the Bronx is essential because will lead the borough’s residents to healthier lifestyles, better physical and psychological perspectives and give them opportunities to enhance nearby green spaces,” said Joe Doolan, head of environmental affairs of TD Bank.

The survey’s results are timely, considering that just last fall, Mayor de Blasio and NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell Silver launched the Community Parks Initiative, which targets investments in parks located in densely populated and growing neighborhoods where there are higher than average concentrations of poverty.

As part of the initiative, more than $130 million is currently being invested in different parks across the city. The nine sites in the Bronx that will see significant capital improvements are Ranaqua Park, Playground 52, Longfellow Garden, Little Claremont Park, Lyons Square Playground, Melrose Commons and Saw Mill Playground.

“It is very important that parks make a comeback in the Bronx, especially if you consider the history of poor urban planning and building abandonment that took place in this borough in the 1960s and 70s,” said Joseph Sanchez, outreach manager of the Bronx River Alliance, referring to instances such as Robert Moses’ Cross Bronx Expressway project, which helped national travel but destroyed eight local neighborhoods in the process of its construction.

“Since that time, at least two or three generations have not had the privilege of having access to a park or shared green space. However, now that the Bronx offers green spaces such as the Bronx River, NYC’s only fresh water river, Pelham Bay Park, NYC’s biggest park, along with the restoration of the High Bridge, Bronx residents will have more opportunity than ever to appreciate and enjoy their parks. Bronx parks have a culture and history behind them, and this must be both highlighted and valued.”

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 742–3384. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.
Posted 12:00 am, July 18, 2015
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