BILL NUMBER: SCR 14 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Senator Steinberg FEBRUARY 18, 2011 Relative to "Parks Make Life Better!" Month. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SCR 14, as introduced, Steinberg. "Parks Make Life Better!" Month. This measure would declare March 2011 as "Parks Make Life Better!" Month. Fiscal committee: no. WHEREAS, A 2009 public opinion research study conducted by the California Park & Recreation Society, revealed that 98 percent of California's households visit a local park and 50 percent of California's households participate in an organized recreation program annually; and WHEREAS, California's residents value their local parks and recreation services, as these parks and services provide access to the serenity and inspiration of nature, outdoor spaces and places for play and exercise, facilities for directed and self-directed recreation; activities that facilitate social connections, human development, the arts, and lifelong learning; and a positive alternative for youth that help lower crime and mischief; and WHEREAS, the State of California's 2010 Obesity Prevention Plan states all of the following: (a) One in every nine California children, one in three teens, and over 50 percent of adults are already overweight or obese and that obesity affects virtually all age, income, educational, ethnic, and disability groups. (b) The state's childhood obesity epidemic and related health conditions and associated costs are expected to increase unless concerted and coordinated efforts are made to increase opportunities for children and youth to engage in age-appropriate, high-quality physical activity programs during nonschool hours. (c) Research has shown that where people live, work, and play impacts obesity. For example, in Imperial County, 73 percent of adults are overweight or obese, while only 43 percent of adults are overweight in the City and County of San Francisco. (d) California's costs attributable to physical inactivity, obesity, and overweight in 2006 were estimated at $41.2 billion. In contrast, a 5 percent improvement in each of these risk factors could result in annual savings of nearly $2.4 billion. (e) To address obesity, the State of California must ensure that all California residents have access to safe places to play and be active; and WHEREAS, California's 10 Step Vision for a Healthy California is a call to action to transform the state so that all Californians can enjoy healthy eating and active living, resulting in all of the following: (a) Every day, every child will participate in physical activity. (b) California's adults will be physically active every day. (c) Neighborhoods, communities, and buildings will support physical activity, including safe walking, stair climbing, and bicycling; and WHEREAS, The Governor, the Legislature, and citizens have prioritized efforts to increase physical activity, access to nature, spaces for play and exercise, the arts, lifelong learning, and social connections among children and adults through the approval of statewide park bond programs such as Proposition 84 (The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006), the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program of 2008; the California Complete Streets Act of 2008, that requires cities and counties to consider all users of streets and roads when plans are revisited; and Senate Bill 375 (Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008) which links transportation, housing, and land use planning to support sustainable communities; and WHEREAS, The California Park & Recreation Society promotes the positive personal and community benefits of parks, open space, trails, recreation facilities and programs, nature education, and sports for able and disabled children, teens, adults, and seniors; and WHEREAS, Participation in physical activities can lower a citizen' s risk of developing chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes, and also help children grow up to be healthier adults; and WHEREAS, The California Park & Recreation Society has released a statewide public awareness campaign, Parks Make Life Better! to inform citizens of the many benefits of utilizing parks, facilities, programs and services; and WHEREAS, The Legislature recognizes the importance of access to local parks, trails, open space, and facilities such as swimming pools, skate parks, dog parks, tennis courts, nature centers, and museums, for the health and development of ALL Californians; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That March 2011 is proclaimed to be "Parks Make Life Better!" Month in California; and be it further Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.