Safe Recreation

The sharing of space between schools and communities makes it easier for people to be active and healthy. These partnerships, often called Joint Use or Shared Use agreements, enable communities to keep costs down and residents healthy.

According to the Alliance for a Better Community, the built environment has a profound effect on our community health, and there are many opportunities for Joint Use or Shared Use agreements to solve these problems:

  • The City of Los Angeles is ranked last in the amount of open space among all major cities with only 1.1 acres of open space for every 1,000 residents. The county standard is 4 acres of local parkland and 6 acres of regional parkland per 1,000 residents.
  • People who have parks nearby exercise 38% more than those who have limited access.
  • While 82.1% of adults in LA County believe their neighborhood is safe from crime, disparities across the county do exist. Residents who perceive their community as unsafe are less likely to be physically active.

By effectively partnering to establish Joint Use or Shared Use agreements, communities can increase opportunities for physical activity by maximizing safe, attractive recreation space.

Safe Places in LA County

Seven school districts in LA County are advancing Joint Use Agreements aimed at increasing physical activity for students and families in their districts. In addition, 72 schools in the county have undergone extensive physical education staff development training for more than 100 teachers, primarily in elementary schools where the need is greatest.

Opportunities to advance joint use continue to spring up across LA County. Pomona Unified School District recently strengthened an existing agreement with the Pomona Valley YMCA’s Kids Sports Program. Compton Unified School District launched a district swim program, an urban trail and reciprocal use of a LA County pool and a district tennis court. In the City of El Monte, three school districts have come together to develop similar wellness and joint use enabling policies. One of the districts is exploring a new sports program for youth that will open access for community residents, while another district is formalizing a district wide “open gates” policy. Learn more about Joint Use in LA County here.


Examples of Joint Use Agreements:

  • A principal unlocks the school gate after hours so neighbors can shoot hoops or play ball on evenings and weekends.
  • A school and swim team share a pool.
  • A school opens its soccer field to a local league for weekend games.
  • A YMCA opens its gym to the local PE teacher so students have a place to exercise.


Featured Videos

Learn more about healthy eating, moving and living in LA County by watching these videos.

Comments are closed.