Illinois PRC - Applied Public Health Prevention Research Project

Abstract

This is the core research project of the Illinois Prevention Research Center, 2014-2019.

This project addresses a key CDC Winnable Battle focused on increasing access to and use of parks working with community stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive, rigorous evaluation of the impact of a Chicago Park District park-based renovation, and apply the study findings to ongoing park renovations by implementing a park coalition building intervention to increase local capacity and influence park-based utilization and physical activity.

The project takes advantage of a natural experiment (planned playground renovations by the Chicago Park District, the largest municipal park system in the U.S.) by implementing a two-phase study. Phase 1 (years 1-2) involves examining how differences in community engagement related to park programming, maintenance and safety, and variations in newly installed playground features differentially influence park-based utilization and physical activity post-renovations, and Phase 2 (years 3-5) involves developing, implementing and evaluating a park coalition building intervention, based on lessons learned in Phase 1, targeting renovated playgrounds not involved in the competitive application process, to increase park-based utilization and physical activity through enhanced programming, ongoing maintenance and safety.

This project will accomplish the following aims:

  1. Determine the impact (12 months) and sustainability (24 months) of playground renovations and community-led efforts on park programming, maintenance, safety, and overall change in park-based utilization and physical activity as measured by direct observation at baseline and post-renovation follow up, compared to a matched control group of not-yet-renovated parks.
  2. Combine results from Aim 1 with data from a formative assessment (i.e., focus groups with parent-child dyads and semi-structured interviews with coalition leaders) to develop a park coalition-building intervention in collaboration with local community members and organizations.
  3. Implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the park coalition-building intervention developed under Aim 2 on change in park programming, maintenance, and safety, and park-based utilization and physical activity post-playground renovation.

Affiliated Center/Program

Principal investigator
Funding Agency

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant No. U48DP005010)

Start date
10/01/2014
End date
09/30/2019
PI of Parent Study
Lisa M. Powell, PhD