Chattanooga selected for Park Equity Accelerator

The site of the future Provence Street Park. | Photo by NOOGAtoday

Back in March, Mayor Tim Kelly announced that the City of Chattanooga was joining the 10-Minute Walk Campaignremember that?

Out of the hundreds of cities across the US participating in the 10-Minute Walk Campaign, our very own was one of six chosen to take part in a new, related Park Equity Accelerator with the Trust for Public Land.

What is this accelerator?

The new program will work to address the root causes of park inequitiesmany of which are shared by cities participating in the 10-Minute Walk Campaign. How will these root causes be addressed? Primarily through policy change and innovation. Chattanooga + the other accelerator cities will field-test policy ideas over 12-15 months. 

Chattanooga’s areas of focus will be:

  • Resourcing + sustaining high quality and inclusive community engagement — in other words, better engaging residents in park planning. (Speaking of… wanna give your input on the city’s parks and outdoors plan? Do that here.)
  • Decision-making that will maximize health, climate, community + equity outcomes in parks planning.

The coolest part? After this period of testing, the Trust for Public Land will use the findings to support scaling the model to additional cities. Aka, what happens in Chattanooga could create a model for cities across the nation to use. 

To kick it all off…

As part of the Park Equity Accelerator, Mayor Kelly said that the city will scale up creation of new parks in neighborhoods that need it most — including on Olde Town Brainerd’s Provence Street, where he announced that a new park is slated for development.

Potential elements of the new park:

  • Natural walkways
  • Play areas for kids
  • Native plants + animals, with all invasive species removed
  • Beehives, since several neighborhood residents work in beekeeping
  • Fruit gardens for the community

[The future park site] isn’t the Stringers Ridge skyline, it’s not the iconic boardwalks and bridges of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway, but the potential of Provence Street Park, and the transformative power of neighborhood parks can’t be overstated.” — Noel Durant, Trust for Public Land Tennessee State Director