SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — A new survey says 10 million people across the U.S. don't live within walking distance of a park, including multiple cities here in Southwest Florida.
Why is this important? Well, The Trust for Public Land says not having a park near your home can lead to more stress, depression, poor mental health, an increase in health issues relating to inactivity and can also cause people to be more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.
Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres and Immokalee are three of the cities in Southwest Florida with the worst percentages of people who have access to parks within walking distance.
In Lehigh Acres, only 6% of people who live here have a park within a ten minute walk from home. There are only nine parks throughout the area.
In Cape Coral, only 16% of people who live here have a park within a ten minute walk from home, despite the city having 31 parks.
In Immokalee, only a quarter of the population lives within a ten minute walk from a park. It also shows 0% of land in Immokalee is used for parks and recreation.
Some other cities in Southwest Florida seem to be doing a better job, according to the Trust for Public Land.
In Fort Myers, nearly half of the population has a park within a ten minute walk from home. Same goes for Port Charlotte. In Naples, a whopping 63% of people have nearby access to a park from home.
The Trust for Public Land says their goal is to make sure every child has access to a safe place to play in Nature.