Our National Parks and the great outdoors aren't sometimes accessible for everyone, and much work is done in our cities to bring parks to the people! This beautiful project accomplished by our friends at the Trust for Public Land needs a shout out! For the 80 percent of Americans who live in or near a city, neighborhood parks offer the closest connection to nature. Yet, today there are more than 100 million people in our cities without close-to-home access to a park. As a result, an entire generation is growing up disconnected from nature and the outdoors, missing out on the fun, fitness, and relaxation that parks provide.
Called "Monitor Avenue Park" during its construction last year, the newly opened Watts Serenity Park covers barely more than an acre—but its importance to the neighborhood is out of proportion to its size. To make the most of the space, The Trust for Public Land worked closely with the community to build the features that people wanted most. The final design includes play equipment for kids, an exercise area for adults, and a skate park for those who wanted to get radical.
The video below featuring Ronald "Kantoon" Antwine pretty much sums it up. Kartoon reflected on the long battle to bring much-needed green space to the place he grew up. "I just knew we needed something better," he told the crowd. "[I asked myself,] how come when I leave my neighborhood I see clean streets and greenery, but when I come back here, I'm looking at trash and weeds? I picked up the torch and I ran with it."