Trust for Public Land and L.L.Bean Announce Awardees of the L.L.Bean Community Award for 2023
Trust for Public Land [TPL], in partnership with outdoor retailer L.L.Bean, is thrilled to announce the recipients of the fifth round of the L.L.Bean Community Award, which will support park projects this year for those communities that need park access the most. This year’s awardees are John F. Kennedy Community Schoolyard in Scranton, Pennsylvania; Delta Park in Greeley, Colorado and the Oregon Rural Schoolyards Program in Madras and Ontario, Oregon. Each project will receive a $50,000 grant to support park enhancement and community development efforts.
“We are thrilled to support these exceptional projects through the L.L.Bean Community Award. Our partnership with L.L.Bean empowers us not only to provide beautiful outdoor spaces and areas for learning and healing in Scranton, Greeley and rural schoolyards in Oregon but also to ensure that these spaces are accessible and equitable for all individuals, in all communities,” said Diane Regas, President and CEO of Trust for Public Land. “By investing in park equity and community engagement, we are working towards our vision of creating accessible and inclusive green spaces for all. We thank L.L.Bean for their ongoing commitment to this important cause.”
In a continued commitment to promoting equitable access to nature and fostering community bonds, L.L.Bean initiated a partnership with Trust for Public Land in 2018, with a substantial investment of $1 million. L.L.Bean has been instrumental in ensuring that more individuals can enjoy outdoor spaces in their respective communities, with 15 projects across twelve states, creating access to a park or public space for over 46,000 residents within a 10-minute walk of their home.
“L.L.Bean has always existed to help people experience the restorative power of being outside,” says Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman and great-grandson of L.L.Bean. “Over the past five years, our partnership with TPL has enabled thousands to have greater access to safe and welcoming outdoor spaces close to where they live and work, particularly those communities that need park access the most. I’m excited that this year’s grant winners will further our ongoing efforts to make the outdoors more accessible to all.”
The John F. Kennedy Community Schoolyard in Scranton, PA, aims to transform an asphalt parking lot into a purposeful schoolyard that allows students and residents to connect with nature. This project represents the expansion of Trust for Public Land’s work from Philadelphia, where twelve schoolyards have been successfully completed. Students are actively engaged in the design process, envisioning the transformation of this space.
Delta Park, in the heavily industrial town of Greeley, Colorado is set to become a national model for community impact. Delta Park, which serves as the “backyard” for a local immigrant and refugee community, is undergoing renovations. The current fields and basketball court will be enhanced with culturally relevant amenities through community-led development and engagement.
In Madras and Ontario, Oregon, the Oregon Rural Schoolyards Program will renovate two rural schoolyards that currently lack access to a public park and a community gathering space. These projects will transform the schoolyards into engaging spaces that promote learning, exercise, play, storytelling, and human connection. Improved shade and cooling surfaces will support safe year-round activities.
Trust for Public Land’s data shows that 100 million people, including 28 million children, or more than one in three Americans, who do not have a park within a 10-minute walk of home. And furthermore, that nationwide, parks that serve the majority of nonwhite populations are, on average, half as large—45 acres compared to 87 acres—and nearly five times as crowded as parks that serve majority-white populations.