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Community Physical Activity

The REACH Community Physical Activity Initiative works to increase indoor and outdoor physical activity opportunities for residents.  To accomplish this, we’ve partnered with several community organizations to:

  • Enhance access to City Parks – We believe that access to outdoor parks and facilities for physical activity and recreation is important for health and well-being, especially in an urban setting like Boston.  Unfortunately, many communities lack the appropriate space and resources to be active and healthy, leading to health inequities among neighborhoods. 

Our Park Access and Activation Committee has partnered with the Franklin Park Coalition and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to streamline the park permit process, making it easier for residents to reserve and enjoy park space.  

boston parks logo​​In 2014, the REACH Project, along with Boston Cares​, the Franklin Park CoalitionBoston Park Advocates, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department launched the first annual Parks Count. This park usage surveillance project will help determine how many people visit the City’s parks, why they go there, what they do there, and what we can do to enhance access for all Boston residents. Volunteers and staff supported this effort by visiting nine parks throughout the City to collect information from park users.  To get involved, email​ 

  • Distribute Fit Kits – Fit Kits are mesh bags filled with sports equipment such as balls, jump ropes, and hula hoops that are shared ​with residents or community groups to increase engagement in physical activity. You can find Fit Kits at:
  • Host PlayWays – PlayWays (also known as Open Streets or Activity Zones) are small-scale, neighborhood-organized street closures that encourage physical activity and community-building.  We have partnered with local organizations and the Boston Transportation Department to simplify the PlayWay permit process. 

Any resident can host a PlayWay! To get started, check out the brochure for more information and complete a permit form!

PlayWay event PlayWay event

  • Enhance neighborhood safety and infrastructure using Citizens Connect​, a City of Boston resource for reporting and receiving feedback on physical incivilities such as broken street lights, abandoned cars, cracked pavements, and trash in public spaces. Citizens Connect is available through:

The REACH Project is working closely with five neighborhood Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) coalitions to train staff and residents on using Citizens Connect to benefit their community.  Citizens Connect empowers residents to be the City’s “eyes and ears.” By using Citizens Connect, residents can directly engage with the City and actively participate in community improvement. 

  • Promote Fitness Zones – Fitness Zones are permanently installed outdoor cardio and exercise equipment in public spaces such as parks.  The REACH Project is working with the Trust for Public Land and planners from the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to install and encourage the use of Fitness Zones. Stay tuned for the grand opening of Fitness Zones in Hunt Almont Park and Iacono Park in Spring 2015!​

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: