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November 8, 2010

“Schools can be the hub of our communities-and should be”

This month, school board members, district superintendents, and senior administrative staff who are members of the California School Boards Association received a comprehensive article on the benefits and challenges to shared use of school facilities. Heather Gehlert, communications specialist at Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) and co-creator of www.jointuse.org, authored “Perspective: Schools as centers of community and wellness” to convey the significance of establishing schools as the hub of our communities. She highlights perspectives from planners, education and environmental protection administrators to lay out the case for shared use of public facilities as a strategy for maximizing public resources in an environmentally sound manner. Read the full article.

Join(t) Us(e) at APHA: Joint Use of Public Facilities: Equalizing Access to Physical Activity Opportunities

Wednesday, November 10, 12:30pm-2pm
Lack of parks, playgrounds and open space is a social justice issue that can be addressed through policy and environmental changes. Joint Use Statewide Taskforce (JUST) members Manal Aboelata, Robert Ogilvie, Heather Gehlert and Genoveva Islas-Hooker prepared this special session for the Physical Activity Special Interest Group (SPIG). They will highlight 4 elements of California's approach and draw out implications for people working in other states. See full session details here.

Joint Use and Health in All Policies: Provide Comment Today--due by November 10th

Last week, The Health in All Policies (HiAP) Task Force released draft recommendations (available here) and your comments are needed today. The Task Force of the Strategic Growth Council is poised to place a powerful imprint on how California decision-makers work together to support environments that positively impact health, safety, and equity. Section B14 of the draft report specifically addresses joint use (excerpt below). We urge you to provide comment to ensure that equitable access to physical activity opportunities is a priority for HiAP.

B14. Encourage joint use of facilities throughout communities in California.

a. Provide guidance to school districts/superintendents regarding existing state law that provides liability
b. Incorporate incentives for joint use in funding and construction of new schools.
c. Explore statute changes to allow for the use of State joint use bond funds for outdoor recreational
facilities/spaces and to allow local partners more flexibility in fulfilling the required 50 percent local share match
for use of these joint use funds.
d. Explore the feasibility of allowing joint use of state properties for community gardens.