Maryland Park Equity Mapper
The Maryland Park Equity Mapper combines layers of demographic and environmental data in order to determine the park equity of different census tracts, allowing users to visualize disparities in park access and quality across the state. The tool was developed by the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH) Laboratory at the University of Maryland School of Public Health in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) and University of Maryland Center for Geospatial Information Science (CGIS). This tool can be used by residents and policymakers in order to identify underserved communities that are in need of new park infrastructure and green space.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature is critical to children’s physical, social, and cognitive well-being. MD DNR cites evidence that children in underserved communities that lack access to nature may be more at risk of childhood obesity, attention deficit disorder, and depression. Furthermore, green space provides essential economic, social, and environmental benefits for community members of all ages. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources developed the Park Equity Analysis in partnership with the University of Maryland in order to better pinpoint areas in Maryland where residents face cultural, socioeconomic, and health barriers to green space.
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