City of Independence, Missouri

Independence, Missouri joins effort to make a 10-minute walk to a park for every resident a national reality

City of Independence Mayor Eileen Weir has joined a movement of more than 230 mayors from across the U.S., working to expand local park access nationwide as part of the 10-Minute Walk to a Park Campaign. The campaign embraces the ambitious goal that everyone in the country has a high-quality park or green space within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of home. Prioritizing parks and green spaces will be even more crucial as Independence works to improve the visual appearance of the City while stabilizing and revitalizing neighborhoods as outlined in the City’s strategic plan, Independence for All.  

“We know parks are a great way to bring neighborhoods together while also encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle,” Mayor Weir said. “The 10-Minute Walk to a Park campaign is a driving force behind making green spaces more accessible and making it easier for residents of America’s cities to gather, exercise, and play. I’m proud of my city for being a leader in park access and for supporting everything that this campaign stands for. I encourage my fellow mayors across the country to join us.”  

Independence has long been a champion of this important work, including the recent work on McCoy Park adapting the equipment to make it accessible to citizens of all ages and abilities. Independence has more than 40 parks and greenspaces throughout the community. Citizens can find a map and listing of the parks and their amenities here, indep.us/parkfacilities.

“From cities large and small, mayors continue to push forward some of the most important issues in the U.S.,” Benita Hussain, Director of the 10-Minute Walk Campaign at the Trust for Public Land, said. “From environmental and public health to building inclusive communities, we applaud Mayor Weir for harnessing the power of parks to effect important changes in their city and nationwide.” 

Research has long demonstrated that parks and public green spaces make cities more livable and attractive for businesses and tourism, help cities combat climate change impacts, and strengthen community bonds. Yet, 30 percent – 100 million U.S. city residents – currently lack nearby access to green spaces and the benefits they provide, including improved health outcomes, reduced crime, and cleaner air and water.  

Mayor Weir joins a growing list of mayors, representing all 50 states, who have committed to putting parks at the top of their communities’ agendas, and who have additional access to tools and resources to improve green spaces in their cities.  The 10-Minute Walk Campaign strives to celebrate and support civic leaders in expanding safe and equitable access to green spaces by working with them to set specific targets for their city and region in park planning, funding, and policy.   

To find out more about mayors and cities that have accepted this challenge, visit 10MinuteWalk.org.