Published Date: May 22, 2024

Summary: In this infographic brief, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research summarizes information from their evaluation of the 2022 Parks After Dark (PAD) program in Los Angeles County. PAD is a county initiative led by the Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with other county departments and community-based organizations. PAD programming — including sports, entertainment, activities, and more — was offered for eight weeks on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 34 parks between June and August 2023.

Findings: Evaluators found that PAD has made significant progress in achieving its intended goals through the provision of quality recreational programming in a safe and family-friendly environment. Besides ensuring participant’s sense of safety at parks while attending PAD programming, evidence indicates that PAD may have reduced crime in PAD parks and their surrounding areas since its inception in 2010. In addition, PAD encouraged meaningful collaboration between participating county departments and community-based organizations; contributed to participant’s feelings of well-being, family togetherness, and social cohesion; and involved a diverse range of participants in community-driven programming in a meaningful way. PAD may also have reduced the burden of disease for those that engaged in exercise opportunities.

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