For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Mayor Zachary Vruwink joined 133 mayors from across the country to launch a historic “10-minute walk” parks advocacy campaign Tuesday morning.
The campaign’s ambitious vision is that all Americans should live within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of a high-quality park or green space. Mayor Vruwink is part of a group of municipal leaders who represent cities large and small – including America’s four largest cities, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston – and diverse communities nationwide.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, which represents more than 1,000 U.S. mayors, also unanimously passed a resolution this past June at its 85th Annual Meeting, urging all mayors to actively pursue the “10-minute walk” goal.
“I take personal pride in supporting the ‘10-minute-walk’ campaign,” said Vruwink. “Our involvement is an extension of ongoing local activities designed to encourage residents to explore our expansive acres of city parks and miles of trails – including the annual Kids to Parks Day event planned and organized by members of the Mayor’s Youth Council; the First St. North-Biron Dr. road and trail reconstruction; and ongoing Downtown and Riverfront District revitalization and redevelopment projects.”
Studies show that high-quality parks provide a wide range of benefits to residents and cities:
● Physical and mental health – providing opportunities to be physically active and to interact with nature;
● Economic – boosting business and helping to revitalize neighborhoods;
● Community-building – providing opportunities for neighbors to interact with each other and work together to improve their surroundings; and
● Environmental – cleaning and cooling the air, and improving climate stability.
This campaign marks the start of a multi-year partnership with cities and mayors. Beginning in 2018, campaign partners The Trust for Public Land, the National Recreation and Park Association, and Urban Land Institute will work with select cities across the country on measurable policies and strategies to advance the 10-minute walk vision.