Persistent concerns about declining human health, environmental sustainability, and social equity demand innovative solutions. For decades, research has revealed that outdoor recreation, parks and green spaces have the capacity to address these issues by improving health and quality of life, promoting environmental stewardship, and enhancing community well-being. This research, however, is scattered across a wide array of disciplines and publication outlets. Building on contributions from members of the , we are working on an edited volume that will synthesize the current state of knowledge regarding broader benefits of parks and recreation and identify opportunities for generating equitable outcomes across diverse communities. Within this larger context, our volume will include specific sections focused on human well-being and preventative health benefits, community vibrancy and resilience, and environmental literacy and stewardship.
● Kathy Scholl, University of Northern Iowa (Health & Well-being);
● Keith Tidball, Cornell University (Community Vitality & Resiliency);
Sections & Themes:
Modeled after the NE1962 Multistate Project, the book will highlight the transformative power of parks and outdoor recreation across three main themes (or sections): health and well-being, community vitality and resilience, and environmental literacy and stewardship. Each of these three sections will contain 4-6 chapters that focus on specific contributions of parks (sub-themes) within these larger themes (e.g., physical activity within health). We encourage prospective authors to identify an overarching theme and to focus their chapter on a specific sub-theme to give their chapter focus. The following list provides examples of sub-themes within each overarching theme to offer guidance, but we welcome potential authors to suggest their own sub-themes.
Section 1: Health and Quality of Life
Section 2: Community Vitality & Resiliency
Section 3: Environmental Literacy and Stewardship
Types of Contributions:
Contributions will come in one of two forms.
Book Chapters (about 3500-4000 words)
Each book chapter should present a broader review or perspective of: 1) the current state of science with respect to this sub-theme (what have we learned, what theories and methods have advanced research in this context?); 2) the questions that have not yet been answered (what are the research gaps and future opportunities?), and 3) implications for policy and practice (including tangible recommendations based on the current state of knowledge). These chapters will resemble short literature reviews or policy briefs more than a conventional research article, and they should be written in a way that is accessible to multiple audience (e.g., researchers, practitioners, policy-makers). Chapters should build on existing reviews of related topics to clearly indicate practical implications and highlight the transformative power of parks in each domain.
Vignettes (about 1000 words)
To help translate research to practice, each of the three main sections will also include approximately three short vignettes or case studies that pertain to each theme. These contributions might come from academic researchers or practitioners, and they are designed to highlight a study, program, or process showing each theme in action.
We encourage submissions within each thematic section to consider international perspectives on the power of parks and themes of diversity and inclusion when writing about particular topics. In addition to contributed chapters and vignettes throughout these three broader sections, the book will include a short introduction that outlines the history of parks and recreation and acknowledge a growing recognition of the broader social outcomes they produce. It will also include a brief conclusion that summarizes the key points and offers recommendations and strategies for leveraging the transformative power of parks across multiple themes to create a more sustainable and prosperous future.
Anticipated Submission & Publication Timeline:
If you are interested in contributing to this edited book with a chapter and/or vignette under any of the themes listed above, please send an expression of interest to Dr. Peter Fix at . This expression of interest should include:
· The proposed title of your chapter/vignette
· A list of co-authors and affiliations
· An abstract of no more than 300 words that summarizes core content