Developing New Partnerships by Empowering Community Members to Conduct Environmental Scans

Research Into Action, RIA for short, helps coalitions bridge the gap between research and practice in the coalition field by keeping coalitions current on research findings relevant to their work. In addition, this series provides actionable steps for coalitions to incorporate the knowledge gained into community action.

This issue is based on an article titled Community Member's Assessment of the Physical Activity Environments in their Neighborhood Parks; Utility of the Community Stakeholder Park Audit Tool by Dr. Anna Elizabeth Greer that appeared in Health Promotion Practice.

Key Findings:

  • Parks with safety concerns such as poor lighting and excessive litter within their boundaries also had more safety concerns in the areas surrounding the park.
  • Parks with more areas designated for the physical activity such as playgrounds, swimming pools and trails had fewer safety concerns such as evidence of threatening persons or behaviors of poor park maintenance.
  • Median household income and percentage of households below the poverty live in the areas near the parks were not related to park accessibility, safety concerns in or around the park, usable physical activity areas in the park or park amenities.
  • The Community Stakeholder Park Audit Tool (CPAT) was reported by participating community members as a user-friendly resource for assessing the environments of neighborhood parks.