Joint use, or shared use, is a way to increase opportunities for children and adults to be more physically active. It refers to two or more entities — usually a school and a city or private organization — sharing indoor and outdoor spaces like gymnasiums, athletic fields and playgrounds. The concept is simple: share resources to keep costs down and communities healthy.
Why is joint use needed?
Place matters, and where we live, work and play — the physical environment — impacts our health. Too often, kids find the gate to their school’s blacktop or basketball court locked after school hours, locking them out of opportunities to be active. Closing off recreational facilities after school leaves many children and families struggling to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines. They may live in an area without a nearby park or be unable to afford exercise equipment or a gym membership.
The Joint Use Task Force (JUST)
Established in May 2008, the joint use statewide task force (JUST) brought together organizations representing health, civil rights, community collaboratives, planners, local elected and appointed officials, park and recreation officials, school board administrators, academic researchers, and other advocates committed to ensuring that all children have a safe place to play and be active within easy reach.