Session Details

Increasing Park Program Accessibility for Low-Income Residents

When a parks and recreation department creates free or low-cost programs, primarily intended to serve low-income residents, often those residents miss out on the opportunity to participate because they are unaware of the opportunity, not sure if they or their children will be welcome, or are unable to register in time.

This session will explore how the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department is working with their Human Services Agency to directly reach the low-income families that their programs are intended to serve. Using HSA data and connections, they have been able to significantly increase the number of low-income youth and families participating in their programs. For example, participation in summer camps by youth in public housing increased by 650% as a result of this effort.

Even with targeted outreach, many families still don’t participate in programs that could benefit them and their children. The barriers might be cultural, social-emotional or logistical. In this session, you’ll learn how the National Park Service is working with a wide range of non-traditional community partners through the leadership of a Community Liaison, to break down those barriers and create programs that welcome and engage community members of all backgrounds.

Session Presentation Slides

Slide Deck: Increasing Park Program Accessibility for Low-Income Residents


  • Learn how recreation and parks departments can increase the inclusion of disadvantage persons in the broader social life of a community.
  • Learn how to use administrative data to directly address equity concerns.
  • Learn how to leverage partnerships for targeted, innovative outreach efforts.