The summer of 2020 is predicted to be the hottest ever recorded. Meanwhile, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge nationwide, city officials are closing public beaches and pools and limiting the capacity of cooling centers. This is putting even more pressure on public parks, which were already in high demand as one of the few places where people can escape the confines of home.
Parks—especially those that are densely wooded and deep green—can counter urban temperatures exacerbated by heat-trapping buildings, pavement, and concrete. Given the increased importance of parks during this public health emergency, The Trust for Public Land analyzed park data from across the country to determine who does and doesn’t have access to this vital public resource—and uncovered some troubling findings.