Unlock Playgrounds To Unlock Health

Six shared-use projects In Maricopa County are opening school facilities outside of school hours so community members have access to safe recreation and other activities for good health.

This means that 95 other big cities have more parks per person than Phoenix. 


And that’s just in Phoenix, which also happens to be the sixth largest city in the country. 


Maricopa County also has smaller cities and rural areas that also would benefit from increased access to safe recreation areas.

Introducing: A Shared-Use Summit (June 2016)

Initially, SCALE-grantee Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) put out a Request for Proposals, intending to give out mini-grants to start or expand shared-use projects. 

Fail Forward Moment:

When nobody responded to the opportunity, MCDPH decided to re-start by educating the community on what shared-use is.

See the results of the Shared-Use Summit here. 

Learning about shared-use best practices

Analyzing the opportunities and potential solutions to challenges of implementing Shared-use

Launching: Shared-Use Mini-Grants (September 2016)

This time when the Request for Proposal went out, community members were aware of shared-use and what it could provide to their community, which increased the number of applications. Success!

Action Lab: Planning For The First 100 Days (October 2016)

After learning about Action Labs, the grant awardees committed to following the structure to achieve quick, sustainable success!

After learning about Action Labs, the grant awardees committed to following the structure to achieve quick, sustainable success!

Project Spotlight: Nadaburg Unified School District in Whittmann, Arizona


Nadaburg is a rural community with few resources available to the community.

Recreation opportunities are few and half the town is on the other side of a highway.

Two out of three residents fall at or below 200% of poverty level, meaning they qualify for assistance benefits--and likely do not use recreational opportunities that cost money, such as gyms or fitness equipment.

Gantt chart from Nadaburg Shared Use project plan highlighting planned resources the project will bring to the community, including reading, GED programs, Chuck Norris Karate, and more.

Participants work together to plan their action

Evaluation Report from the Shared-Use Action Lab

Earned Media (January 2017)

The big newspaper for the state, the Arizona Republic, did a front-page story on the project. They interviewed MCDPH staff, as well as representatives from a few of the grant awardees.

Elected officials have noticed the movement and have asked how they can be involved! 

Halfway through the 100 days:

At the end of 100 days:

Mid-Way Progress Report

Final Report Card

Momentum Lab: Planning For All The Other Days (February 2017)

Encouraged by their early success, the awardees came together at the end of their first 100 days to see what they’d learned and plan what they would do to sustain what they’d achieved.

Keys to success:

• Being adaptable as hurdles and new opportunities arose

• Getting community feedback to offer programs tailored to their interests

• Launching programs and events that are self-sustaining and driving use of sites

• Utilizing volunteers and community partners to do a lot with a little

The Momentum lab inspired project teams to think about how to sustain their success.

Click to view meeting minutes, which recaps goals, progress, and decisions made.

Spreading The Success With The Next Shared-Use Summit (Summer 2017)

We’ve come a long way in less than a year. The next Shared-Use Summit will tell the stories of our six local shared-use projects.

We have some great ideas for the Share-Use Summit coming this Summer!

The planning team has visions of the next Shared-Use Summit