On June 4, 2013, Councilmember Tommy Wells introduced the “Shared Use of School Property in the District Act of 2013.” The purpose of the legislation is to make school property available to community members -- outside of the school use -- for recreational and athletic activities that support a more active and healthy lifestyle, increase community safety, and maximize community engagement. The bill garnered great support from the Council.
“Community organizations in the District are constantly battling to find space for recreational and athletic activities. This bill will open up our public schools for public use and help create livable walkable communities in every neighborhood across our city,” said Councilmember Tommy Wells.
The “Shared Use of School Property in the District Act of 2013” was crafted to provide a valuable resource for community recreational space while minimizing the potential liability risks created when schools open their grounds for public use. It was written in collaboration with District officials responsible for managing field space, as well as with representatives of the American Heart Association (AHA).
“I applaud Councilmember Wells and AHA in introducing legislation that addresses key policy barriers to allow D.C. agencies and community partners to work together to create places for safe physical activity. This legislation will make school property available to community members, support active living, reduce obesity, reduce health care costs associated with obesity, maximize community resources, and promote community support for public schools,” said Nancy Chapman, AHA You’re the Cure Advocate.