Model Open Use Policy for Wisconsin School Districts
Opening facilities for public recreational use
Wisconsin residents need more places to be active. Only 47 percent of adults and 24 percent of adolescents in the state meet the daily physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes a week and an hour a day, respectively. School districts and other municipal entities increasingly recognize that providing access to existing recreational facilities at schools is one of the most promising strategies for building more opportunities for physical activity. In an era of budget shortfalls, maximizing access to existing facilities – rather than developing new ones – can be an efficient and economical use of public resources.
Wisconsin school districts can open up their facilities for public recreational use in a number of different ways. ChangeLab Solutions, in partnership with Transform Wisconsin (Wisconsin’s Community Transformation Grant project), developed this model policy for Wisconsin school districts that are interested in formalizing free community access to their property for individual play and physical activity without a formal partnership or agreement. Although this model policy is written specifically for school districts, the concept of open use is applicable to other entities with physical activity facilities, including community- and faith-based nonprofit organizations.