joint use task force

Established in May 2008, the joint use statewide task force (JUST) includes organizations representing health, civil rights, community collaboratives, planners, local elected and appointed officials, park and recreation officials, school board administrators, academic researchers, and a growing list of groups interested in ensuring that all children have a safe place to play and be active within easy reach.

Prevention Institute

Prevention Institute is a national center dedicated to improving community health and well-being by building momentum for effective primary prevention. “Joint-use of public facilities is important to me because when it’s working well, children, youth and families have access to safe places to exercise, play, dance and come together that might otherwise be unavailable in their communities; plus it is a smart way to maximize use of public resources.”

 Alliance for a Better Community

Alliance for a Better Community (ABC) works to improve opportunities for health and quality of life for Latino communities in Los Angeles by shaping local economic development, education, and health policy.  With a grant from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, ABC’s JUGAR – Joint Use Generating Activity and Recreation – initiative brings together community stakeholders and government partners to advance joint use as a policy to address disparities in access to physical activity in Los Angeles neighborhoods.  “Joint use of school facilities is one critical way to address the growing obesity rates in densely and heavily populated urban communities by maximizing safe, attractive space for recreation.”


CACCalifornia Activity Communities

California Active Communities, a unit of the California Department of Public Health and formerly known as the California Center for Physical Activity, creates opportunities for safe, everyday physical activity through environmental and policy changes strategies by working in alliance with physical activity experts, local governments, school districts, and key community stakeholders. California Active Communities is working with California Project LEAN to advance state and local joint use policies and best practices that will increase student and community access to school facilities for physical activity outside of the school day. “Promoting joint use facilities is critical to increasing physical activity for people of all ages and abilities, and ensuring social equity and environmental justice in communities throughout California.”

California Park & Recreation Society

The California Park & Recreation Society, a professional membership organization of 4,000 members, provides education, networking, and resources, and advocacy to advance the park and recreation profession. “Joint use matters to me because we are missing opportunities to make communities better places to live now and in the future. By opening up schools for play and exercise and for directed and self-directed recreation, we can help lower crime and mischief of our youth, we can have greater social connections, and we can foster human development, the arts, and lifelong learning.”


    California Project LEAN

California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) (CPL) is a joint program of the California Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute. CPL leverages youth empowerment, policy and environmental change strategies and community-based solutions to increase healthy eating and physical activity in an effort to reduce the prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, and diabetes. “Joint use is important for health because it creates safe opportunities for youth and their families to be physically active.”


California School Boards Association

The California School Boards Association is a collaborative group of 1,000 educational agencies, bringing together school governing boards and administrators from districts and county offices of education to advocate for policies that advance the education and well-being of school-age children. “Joint use matters to me because it’s an effective and efficient way for local governments to collaboratively meet their communities diverse needs.”

Capacity Builders, Inc.

Capacity Builders, Inc. is a non-profit consortium of consultants who engage in equity issues in the Central Valley. “Joint use is important to me because it is the only viable solution that I can see to meeting the needs in the small, impoverished communities in the Central Valley for facilities where community residents of all ages can engage in the healthy physical activities that promote wellness.”


Center for Cities and Schools

The Center for Cities & Schools at the University of California-Berkeley works to promote high-quality education to create healthy, equitable, and sustainable cities and schools for all. CC+S provides research and policy recommendations to federal, state, and local leaders, which is informed by growing evidence that public school environments contribute to student achievement and community quality, and have also developed a Joint Use Cost Calculator to help schools and communities develop a joint use fee structure. “Joint use matters to me because, when partnerships are structured effectively, it has the potential to be a promising tool to realize a variety of goals, including efficiently using public dollars, increasing services and amenities to both schools and communities, conserving land, and promoting physical activity.”


Cultiva La Salud

Cultiva La Salud, an initiative of the Public Health Institute and formerly known as the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program, works to create health equity in eight counties in the Central Valley by linking a diverse set of government partners including public health, parks and recreation, transportation, police, animal control, and planning departments, as well as community-based organizations, and grassroots community members to address healthy eating and active living through environmental and policy change. “Joint use matters to me because it’s a simple low cost solution to create some equity for communities that do not have safe places to be active.”


ChangeLab Solutions

ChangeLab Solutions consists of an interdisciplinary team of lawyers, urban planners, policy analysts, public health specialists, and architects who provide training and technical assistance to support stakeholders in their policy reform efforts in the context of land use and transportation planning, childhood obesity prevention, school environments, and more. “Joint use matters to me because it is so wasteful, unhealthy and short-sighted not to do it.”


The City Project

The City Project works with diverse coalitions in strategic campaigns to shape public policy and law — particularly those investing in parks and recreation, playgrounds, schools, health, and transit — as a way to promote justice, human and environmental health, and economic vitality for all communities. “Joint use of parks and schools matters to me because it is the optimal way to make use of scarce land and public resource to help children move more, eat well, stay healthy, and do their best in school and in life.”


Latino Health Access

Using participatory approaches to community health education, Latino Health Access (LHA) trains community health workers to be leaders of wellness and change. LHA assists in improving the quality of life and health of uninsured, under-served people through quality preventive services, educational programs and local/regional advocacy efforts. “Joint use matters to me because children and families deserve to live in communities where open, safe places support life course choices toward healthy living and strong community bonds.”


Past Taskforce Members


RENEW L.A. County, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

RENEW L.A. County, an initiative of LA County DPH with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ through “Communities Putting Prevention to Work” (CPPW), works to address barriers to physical activity by working with school districts throughout the County to open their school grounds during non-instructional hours for community use.  “Joint use means opportunities for community building around physical activity, for families to play together and feel safe. It’s an opportunity to address disparity in L.A. County and level the playing field for communities that are deemed ‘park-poor.’”


Healthy Eating, Active Communities (HEAC)
Partnership for the Public’s Health(PPH), Public Health Institute

Partnership for the Public’s Health is the Program Office for the local demonstration component of HEAC, a program of The California endowment, and coordinates technical assistance to the six local community HEAC sites. PPH also coordinates technical assistance for the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) and provides coordination and management of the California Convergence. HEAC works to reduce disparities in obesity and diabetes by improving food and physical activity environments for children. “Joint use matters to me because all children deserve to have safe places to play.  In many California communities school playgrounds and adjoining parks are often the safest places for children to get physical activity and many of them are locked during non-school hours.”

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