Addressing the critical lack of parks and open space for millions of people in the Los Angeles area
The Urban to Wild LA program promotes effective statewide and local policies to create, maintain and improve neighborhood parks within the communities most in need. We support efforts to provide transportation options to reach parks and public lands, and to make existing outdoor resources safer and more welcoming to everyone. We back efforts to create a better connection to nature in neighborhoods that have been historically marginalized and cut off from park funding and healthy outdoor activity.
In L.A. County, 52.6 percent of residents live in areas of high and very high park need, with no place to safely gather with friends and family under the shade of trees or to exercise or play outdoors within a half mile of home. Often just getting to a neighborhood park requires a trek past blighted vacant lots, over dangerous roadways and onramps. Many neighborhoods are hemmed in by freeways and industrial zones, suffering higher amounts of pollution and heat concentration.
Urban to Wild Los Angeles has joined with community partners to celebrate recent successes, including the passage of parks and public lands funding Measure A and Proposition 68, the largest voter-approved parks and water bond in California history. We continue to support national legislation along with local programs to link public transit to hiking trails and green spaces and promote increased community access to nature.
Too often access to parks and public lands in the Los Angeles area is limited for people of color, those with physical disabilities and residents of underserved communities. Resources to get people outside and make connections with nature are critical to building healthy communities.
Research shows almost 53 percent of L.A. County’s population lives in very high or high park need areas – there is a critical lack of parks and open space for millions of people in the Los Angeles area.
Study after study has shown a connection between access to nature and positive public health impacts, with measurable reduction of depression, anxiety and obesity for those with better options for outdoor activity.
What we're doing
Helping people connect to nature
We're supporting transportation investments to parks and open space, including the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains; working with local officials to develop and implement pilot transportation projects in Arcadia and Pasadena, helping people reach trail heads without a car; and engaging with L.A. County Metro to develop and implement a Transit to Parks plan.
Advocating for new parks and improvements in existing parks
We support national, state and local policies that create and maintain parks in high need areas. After helping to secure national monument protections for the San Gabriel Mountains – a designation that put the needs of local communities first – we will keep working to ensure the monument is an inclusive, safe and welcoming place for a diverse array of visitors.
Working directly with community partners
We seek to identify challenges and promote solutions to help build healthier communities with strong ties to nature and the outdoors.