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Andrea Richardson, Bing Han, Stephanie Williamson, and Deborah Cohen

National Study of Neighborhood Parks to describe how changes in park use are associated with changes in management practices and park conditions. The National Study of Neighborhood Parks was conducted to determine how park characteristics, policies, and programming influence park use and physical activity

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Ariane L. Rung, Andrew J. Mowen, Stephanie T. Broyles, and Jeanette Gustat

Background:

Neighborhood parks play an important role in promoting physical activity. We examined the effect of activity area, condition, and presence of supporting features on number of park users and park-based physical activity levels.

Methods:

37 parks and 154 activity areas within parks were assessed during summer 2008 for their features and park-based physical activity. Outcomes included any park use, number of park users, mean and total energy expenditure. Independent variables included type and condition of activity area, supporting features, size of activity area, gender, and day of week. Multilevel models controlled for clustering of observations at activity area and park levels.

Results:

Type of activity area was associated with number of park users, mean and total energy expenditure, with basketball courts having the highest number of users and total energy expenditure, and playgrounds having the highest mean energy expenditure. Condition of activity areas was positively associated with number of basketball court users and inversely associated with number of green space users and total green space energy expenditure. Various supporting features were both positively and negatively associated with each outcome.

Conclusions:

This study provides evidence regarding characteristics of parks that can contribute to achieving physical activity goals within recreational spaces.

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Ariane L. Bedimo-Rung, Jessica L. Thomson, Andrew J. Mowen, Jeanette Gustat, Bradley J. Tompkins, Patricia K. Strikmiller, and Melinda S. Sothern

Background:

Parks provide environments for physical activity, yet little is known about how natural disasters affect them or how these disasters alter physical activity. Our objectives were to (1) describe the development of an instrument to assess park conditions following a hurricane and (2) document the conditions of New Orleans’ parks 3 and 6 months after Hurricane Katrina.

Methods:

A Post-Hurricane Assessment (PHA) instrument was developed and implemented in 54 parks 3 and 6 months post-hurricane.

Results:

Summary scores of the Park Damage Index and the Neighborhood Damage Index showed improvement between 3 and 6 months of data collection. Parks and neighborhoods most affected by the hurricane were located in the most- and least-affluent areas of the city.

Conclusion:

The PHA proved to be a promising tool for assessing park conditions in a timely manner following a natural disaster and allowed for the creation of summary damage scores to correlate to community changes.

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Carrie M. Geremia, Kelli L. Cain, Terry L. Conway, James F. Sallis, and Brian E. Saelens

study by an experienced and certified trainer, to ensure that all data reflected the current park conditions. Parks were first visited by raters equipped with an aerial park map and a description of EAPRS zones. Raters were instructed to divide the park into SOPARC-ratable areas based on EAPRS section

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Deborah A. Cohen, Bing Han, Sujeong Park, Stephanie Williamson, and Kathryn P. Derose

associated with the disparity include differences in park conditions ( Weiss et al., 2011 ), park size ( Kaczynski, Potwarka, & Saelens, 2008 ), the amount of programming, and concerns about safety ( Echeverria, Luan Kang, Isasi, Johnson-Dias, & Pacquiao, 2014 ; Lapham et al., 2015 ; Ou et al., 2016 ) and