Philosophy:  Parks are places where people meet on neutral ground; get to know neighbors; establish links and relationships that forge strong neighborhoods.  For children, neighborhood parks are often a first chance at indepenence; a time to learn about older and younger children; an opportunity to explore cooperation and dispute resolution without adult supervision; and a place to meet friends.

Standards:  For a neighborhood park to work it requires proximity, accessibility, attractiveness, and something to do.  Every neighborhood park should have an activity designed to engage a child while he waits for a playmate to appear.  Every neighborhood park should have a place to sit that encourages people to address each other and meet.  Every neighborhood park should be accessible from several directions, expanding its scope and reach.

Neighborhood Building:  The best neighborhoods identify themselves geographically.  Ideally, people locate their homes by a shared, treasured asset - "right next to Hallam Park" - and neighborhood cohesion and cooperation are the results.  

Issues:  Neighborhood parks are often neglected, sometimes shamefully, in deference to larger community parks.   Neglect can render these treasured places unappealing and unused.  It is a goal of ZAPP to ensure that each neighborhood has parks to call its own.


  • Inventory existing parks; identify needs and opportunities, promote accomplishing things
  • Encourage creation of neighborhood advocacy groups for individual parks
  • Locate partners to help when city funding is inadequate or non-existent
  • Identify activities and facilities to enhance those parks