Providing great parks and play areas is Pogo Park’s starting point for addressing inner city neighborhoods’ health disparities and creating healthy, livable neighborhoods. Our park and play area restoration projects are also powerful tools for revitalizing inner city neighborhoods, promoting civic involvement and improving community cohesion. These park restorations become catalysts for further redevelopment, bringing needed jobs, amenities and services to underserved neighborhoods.
We work extensively with city staff and local residents, through community involvement activities and hands-on projects, to reclaim underutilized public spaces. We help to determine how the parks need to be modified so people will use them, what services the parks need to provide and how to integrate each park into the surrounding community. We then assist residents, in partnership with city staff, to design, build and maintain their parks and play areas.
There is a growing body of research suggesting that an effective way to revitalize a community is to revitalize its parks. Parks and playgrounds are the heart and soul of community life, a vital gathering place, and they provide enormous social, economic and health benefits for all its citizens. Extensive research on parks and recreation shows that parks:
- Increase property values of nearby homes and businesses;
- Attract and retain businesses and residents;
- Benefit the natural environment;
- Create a place where neighbors can experience a sense of community;
- Reduce crime; and
- Provide recreational and educational opportunities for all residents.