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The City Project Equal Justice, Democracy, and Livability for All

Transit to Trails

Transit to Trails

Transit to Trails takes inner city youth and their families and friends on fun mountain, beach, and Los Angeles River trips. The project enriches their education about water, land, wildlife, and cultural history, and the importance of physical activity and healthy eating for life-long health.

Transit to TrailsIn April 2007, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne joined Anahuak youngsters for a hike to celebrate National Junior Ranger Day in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Transit to Trails is a creative partnership between: Anahuak Youth Association, The City Project, Mountains and Recreation Conservation Authority–and an anonymous donor.

Although these children live only an hour from the mountains and beaches, many have never been there, because parents often work two or more jobs, and do not have access to cars or to information to plan trips. We are diversifying access to and support for mountains, beaches, and rivers -- and having fun doing it!

Transit to Trails lleva a los niños de la ciudad y sus familias y amigos a las montañas, las playas, y al Río Los Angeles, con el fin de enriquecer su educación sobre la naturaleza, historia cultural, actividad física, y la nutrición saludable.

En abril de 2007, Ministro del Interior Dirk Kempthorne viajó con los jóvenes de Anahuak para celebrar el Día Nacional de Guardabosques Jóvenes a la Zona de Recreación Nacional de las Montañas de Santa Monica.

Transit to Trails es un esfuerzo creativo entre varias personas y organizaciones: Anahuak, The City Project, y Mountains and Recreation Conservation Authority -- y un donador anónimo.

Aunque estos niños viven sólo a una hora de las montañas y playas, muchos nunca han estado allí, porque los padres trabajan a menudo dos o más trabajos, y no tienen acceso a los automóviles o a la información para planear los viajes. Nosotros estamos diversificando el acceso y el apoyo para las montañas, playas, y ríos.

SCAG Equal Access to Parks and Transit to Trails

Public transportation is an important part of diversifying access to the four forests. There is virtually no good way to reach the four Southern California forests using public transportation according to Public Transportation to Local National Forests (1.6 MB [PDF]) , a study by the University of Southern California Department of Geography that documents the need for improved public transit to diversify support for and improve access to the four forests in Southern California.

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) calls for public transportation to improve access for all to parks throughout Southern California in the 2008 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Environmental Justice Report.

In response to public comments by The City Project and others calling for healthy parks, schools, and communties, SCAG conducted additional and new analysis on access to parks. “Public parks serve all residents. . . . However, not all neighborhoods and people have equal access to these public resources,” including local, state, and national parks. The following map shows the unequal distribution of parks and low income neighborhoods in the Southern California counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, and San Diego.

SCAG Park Access and Low Inome Communities

“Research has found a complete lack of public transportation services into National Parks, but this also appears true for State Parks. There is almost no access to national parks and very limited access to state parks by transit across all income groups . . . .” SCAG cites the policy report above by USC students prepared for The City Project as part of Transit to Trails.

"All income groups for the whole region will have greater park accessibility due to the infrastructure investments proposed in the 2008 RTP. However, a multi-agency effort must be undertaken in order to further address and remedy the issue of inequity of park access." (Emphasis added.) One remedy is Transit to Trails.

Source: SCAG RTP Environmental Justice Report 11-14, 24.

A good model for transportation to public lands can be found in Good Practice Guide: Integrated Transport Measures in National Parks (1MB PDF), a report released by England’s Department of Transport. This report examines the vital role transportation plays in maintaining the economic and social vitality of the National Parks in England and Wales. Integrated transportation measures, including public transportation services, play a key role in offering a sustainable way for local communities and visitors to access the National Parks in England.

Diversify Access to and Support for National Forests

Angeles ForestThe four forests of Southern California—Angeles, San Bernardino, Cleveland, and Los Padres—constitute four of the most urban-influenced forests in the United States, serving an increasingly diverse population of over 20 million people who live within an hour's drive of the four forests. The Forest Service recognizes that the "ethnic diversity of the population has increased," and that "[m]angers are...challenged to effectively communicate with diverse populations of people in order to understand the ways they would like to use the forests." Yet between 77% and 83% of visitors to the Angeles, Cleveland, and Los Padres National Forests are non-Hispanic White in a region that is disproportionately people of color and in a state in which whites are in the minority.

The forests are part of The City Project's vision for meeting the diverse green space needs for all the people of Southern California. It is necessary to bring green space to the people, and take people to the forests and other green spaces.

The City Project is building bridges between traditional environmentalists and diverse communities to diversify access to and support for the forests in Southern California. Download our Forest Policy Brief (388 KB [PDF]). Download the Policy Brief in español (572 KB [PDF]).

In August 2004 The City Project submitted public comments (560 KB [PDF]) on behalf of a diverse alliance of social justice organizations, conservationists, community groups and everyday people concerning the Forest Service Management Plans and Draft Environmental Impact Statement that will shape the future of the forests.

"The Angeles National Forest is the most urban forest in the country, and close to the most ethnically diverse city in the country. The Forest Service is not doing enough," said Robert García in the Pasadena Star-News, which ran an article detailing the efforts to diversify access to and support for the national forests.