Parks After Dark Evaluation Brief.
- Author(s): Pourat, N
- Martinez, AE
- Haley, LA
- Rasmussen, P
- Chen, X
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30074747
Parks after Dark is a Los Angeles County (County) program that began in 2010 as the primary prevention strategy of the County's Gang Violence Reduction Initiative. It has since evolved into a key County strategy to promote health, safety, equity, and community well-being. Led by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), PAD is a collaboration of multiple County departments as well as community agencies. PAD was designed to be implemented in communities with higher rates of violence, economic hardship, and obesity. On average, PAD communities have greater levels of need across these three areas than Los Angeles County as a whole. PAD parks stay open late on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in the summer months to offer a variety of free activities for people of all ages. PAD provides recreational activities (e.g., sports clinics, exercise classes, and walking clubs), entertainment (concerts, movies, and talent shows), arts and educational programs (arts and crafts, computer classes, and cultural programs), teen clubs and activities, and health and social service resource fairs. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Deputy Sheriffs patrol the parks to ensure safety during PAD and participate in activities with community members. The PAD program began in three parks in 2010. In 2012, it expanded to six parks, and in 2015 to nine parks. In 2016, the program was being implemented in 21 parks throughout Los Angeles County.