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Tell Congress: Fight flooding and extreme heat with parks!

Last week, Trust for Public Land released the 11th annual ParkScore® index, which shows the extent to which our largest U.S. cities are using parks, trees and green infrastructure to fight flooding, extreme summer heat, and other impacts of a changing climate.

We need Congress to prioritize investments in parks for climate resilience. Yet, despite dramatically increased use in parks during recent years—ParkScore cities don’t have enough funding simply to fix broken infrastructure.

Tell your members of Congress to support investments in parks that will make vulnerable communities more resilient to climate change while ensuring everyone has access to nature.

A historic investment in neighborhood parks, trees, and green infrastructure will help mitigate the effects of climate change in communities that are most at risk from extreme weather events. Green, shady parks protect people from rising temperatures, reduce the deadly “urban heat island effect,” absorb air pollution, and filter stormwater.

We have an opportunity to protect and expand access to the public places that are key to a healthier, prosperous, and more resilient country. Take action now to ensure your elected leaders hear from you today about the importance of parks and climate.

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RE: Invest in parks for climate resilience

To [Decision Maker], 

I'm writing to urge you to support investments that will make vulnerable communities more resilient to climate change while also ensuring everyone has access to nature.

A historic investment in neighborhood parks, trees, and green infrastructure will help mitigate the effects of climate change in communities that are most at risk from extreme weather events. Green, shady parks protect people from rising temperatures, reduce the deadly "urban heat island effect," absorb air pollution, and filter rainwater. Further, local parks have lasting benefits for public health. Scientific research finds that parks, green space, and outdoor activity reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, and improve physical health.

Yet today, more than 100 million people in the U.S., including 28 million children, do not have a quality park or green space within a 10-minute walk of home. A recent analysis found parks serving predominantly nonwhite populations are half the size of parks that serve predominantly white populations and serve five times more people per acre. Those equity gaps put low-income and communities of color at a disadvantage as the climate crisis worsens.

We must put equity at the center of our solutions to the climate crisis by investing in infrastructure - including parks and green space - that deliver climate resilience and strong economic benefits.

For these reasons, I strongly urge you to support robust funding for local parks, climate resilience, and equitable access to nature. If we maximize the opportunities for all Americans to experience the benefits of nature, then every community - regardless of zip code - will be stronger, healthier, and more connected for generations to come.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Email]