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Pandemic underscores how public parks shape public healthPandemic underscores how public parks shape public health

Aug 7, 2020

For years, public health experts have urged people to spend more time outdoors for the nourishment of their mindsbodies and souls.

Those recommendations have taken on a new urgency this year as the nation grapples with a pandemic that seems to be especially virulent in crowded indoor spaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now lists visiting parks and recreational facilities — particularly those “parks that are close to your home” — as a way to protect yourself and others from covid-19.

But for tens of millions of Americans, that’s easier said than done; according to the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a nonprofit group that works to protect parks and other outdoor public spaces, roughly 100 million Americans don’t have a public park within a 10-minute walk of their home.

“For far too many communities, quality green space where families can recreate and practice social distancing is simply not available,” said Diane Regas, the president and chief executive of TPL.

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