The Indiana University School of Public Health, in partnership with the Marion County Public Health Department and the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department, conducted an HIA of the Indy Parks Comprehensive Plan. The plan is conducted every five years to categorize current parks and greenways, as well as establish future needs of each township served by Indy Parks. An HIA was utilized by the parks and recreation staff and community members to understand the effects that recreation activities and green space have on individual and community health. Health impacts included decreasing the incidence of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and stress, and increasing social cohesion and vegetation in the Indianapolis area. Health determinants included physical activity and mental, social, and environmental health. The HIA found that non-park users did not use the park for several reasons, including that they were unaware of park location or activities, they believed the parks to be unsafe, and that they use other facilities for physical activity. The HIA recommended that overall maintenance and cleanliness of the parks be improved and that walking and biking trails be integrated with the parks to increase usage. Key township stakeholders recommended that parks be utilized for community events including farmer’s markets, community gardens, and health fairs.
Read the project summary