Data-Driven Effort to Re-envision Conservation and Prioritize Vulnerable Communities

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved the 2022 Parks Needs Assessment Plus (PNA+), which focuses on environmental conservation and restoration, regional recreation, and rural recreation.

2 minute read

December 28, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Clement Lau


Concrete walking and biking trail winding through trees and bushes

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, a county park in Los Angeles County. | Ansel B / Trail in Kenneth Hahn Park, Los Angeles

On December 6, 2022, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the 2022 Parks Needs Assessment Plus (PNA+) Final Report as the county’s 30x30 plan. 30x30 refers to the goal of conserving 30 percent of lands and coastal waters by 2030 to address climate change and protect biodiversity. 

In this article, park planner Clement Lau discusses the PNA+ Final Report which addresses environmental conservation and restoration, regional recreation, and rural recreation. The PNA+ builds upon and supplements the 2016 Parks Needs Assessment (PNA) with data, mapping, and analyses to guide future environmental conservation and restoration efforts across the county as well as information about regional and rural recreation needs. Like the 2016 PNA, the PNA+ involved data collection and analysis, mapping using geographic information system (GIS), coordination with park and trail managing agencies, and public outreach and engagement in partnership with community-based organizations (CBOs).

The PNA+ focuses on the most vulnerable residents living in park-poor, tree-poor urban and rural areas with limited access to local and regional parks and recreational facilities. Vulnerable communities are identified and mapped using data from the Healthy Places Index (HPI), including indicators that address four dimensions: 1) social barriers like poverty and unemployment; 2) transportation barriers like limited access to public transit or automobile; 3) health vulnerability like reduced life expectancy at birth; and 4) environmental vulnerability like a high number of excessive heat days and limited tree canopy.

The PNA+ identifies priority areas for environmental conservation and restoration which form the basis for a 30x30 plan for L.A. County. This strategy reimagines conservation through an equity lens to include both traditional efforts that involve the protection of natural lands and the restoration of degraded lands, especially in lower-income communities of color where vulnerable populations and environmental burdens are concentrated.

To learn more about PNA+, please read the source article.

Thursday, December 15, 2022 in National Recreation and Park Association Open Space Blog

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