Healthy Savannah Explores Equitable Changes at Six Neighborhood Parks

SAVANNAH, Ga. - Oct. 5, 2022 - PRLog -- (SAVANNAH, GA) Healthy Savannah is working with Charles T. Brown's Equitable Cities to take a closer look at how parks in several of Savannah's priority neighborhoods can better serve the surrounding community.

"We selected six parks across Savannah that include Blackshear Park, W.W. Law Park, Feiler Park, Bowles C. Ford Park, Cann Park and Kennedy Park at Carver Heights," said Armand Turner, Physical Activity Program manager for Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, administrators of a $3.4 million Racial & Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant. "Our goal is to see what equitable changes can be made in order for them to better serve their communities and Savannah as a whole."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the REACH grant funding in 2018 to foster sustainable health equity among Black residents in low-wealth neighborhoods. The funds are being deployed over a five-year period in an "upstream" approach by the Savannah/Chatham County project team in concert with more than 200 community partners and organizations all committed to elevating the health and wellness of the community through policy, systems, and environmental change.

Members of Equitable Cities visited Savannah in September to begin this analysis on the first three of the six parks. Another group will return in October to audit the remaining three.

"Equitable Cities is committed to bringing community narratives, visions, and values into our research, planning, and policy recommendations through the local knowledge of the communities we work in," said Charles T. Brown, founder and CEO. "Our goal is to reconnect communities suffering from disinvestment through transportation planning and research that focuses on the way each community experiences its parks and streets."

Turner says the analysis will include a Complete Streets review at each park to measure the ease of mobility to and within it. Additionally, a multi-disciplinary approach of crime prevention that uses urban and architectural design and the management of built and natural environments known as CEPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) will be conducted to assess the environment at each park in determining how built and natural structures might deter crime and promote park use by the community.

Equitable Cities and Healthy Savannah are also making plans to conduct community engagement and focus group opportunities in the neighborhoods surrounding the parks.

"The end goal of this process is for Equitable Cities to make recommendations and an action plan for Healthy Savannah to present to City officials and advocate for equitable changes within the identified parks," said Turner. "Our collective goal is to reconnect communities suffering from disinvestment by improving the environments and infrastructure within those public spaces."

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
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Tags:Savannah Neighborhood Parks
Location:Savannah - Georgia - United States
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