The objectives of this study were to (1) identify the benefits of parks for Mexican- American urban residents and the roles they play in the dynamics of their communities and (2) explore issues related to their existence and utilization in Latino communities. Bedimo-Rung, Mowen, and Cohen's (2005) model of the Role of Parks in Public Health was employed as a conceptual framework in this study. Data were collected in the summer of 2007 with two focus groups with 26 Mexican-American residents from two predominantly minority Chicago communities. Benefits of urban parks for Mexican-American residents were classified into five categories-environmental, social, psychological health, physical health, and cultural. The study also identified many problems related to the existence and utilization of parks in Latino communities that detracted from the benefits Mexican-Americans could obtain from visiting parks. They included insufficient access to parks, poor maintenance of the existing parks, crime and safety issues, and interracial conflict and discrimination. A new framework was proposed to model the benefits of parks for minority urban residents and factors that affect utilization of parks in minority communities.
- Minority communities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management