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Demonstrating the Power of Parks to Combat Hunger

Sage Learn | November 7, 2014
Park and recreation agencies are located in almost every community across the country and are the largest public provider, outside of schools, for United States Department of Agriculture-funded feeding programs. These initiatives provide healthy meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during out-of-school times. For many children, these may be the only nutritious meals they enjoy on a normal day. It is vital in communities across the country to continue funding for the Child Nutrition Act, Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program, all of which will be addressed by Congress next fall. Read more

Your Park is Your Family

Samantha Bartram | July 18, 2014
This week, the nation clutched its collective pearls about the story of Debra Harrell, whose 9-year-old daughter was taken into state custody after the child was discovered playing alone at a park near her mother’s place of employment. The 46-year-old worked at a McDonald’s in North Augusta, South Carolina, and on some days during her shift she allowed her daughter to spend the day at Summerfield Park, where she had access to a splashpad, playground and open green spaces. Read more

High-Five Moments Coming Soon to Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park

Kevin Cook | July 10, 2014
The playground is where children challenge themselves and each other. It’s a place where “high-five” moments are made and remembered. You know, those moments where “I can’t” or “I’m scared” shift into “I did it!” Well these moments are coming soon to the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park as part of the 2014 Parks Build Community project. Guest blogger Kevin Cook tells us more about what to expect and why Playworld Systems is involved in the project this year. Read more

Community Connections in Charlotte

Danielle Taylor | May 7, 2014
A few weeks ago, Danielle Taylor, Senior Editor of Parks & Recreation Magazine traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park, the site of NRPA’s 2014 Parks Build Community (PBC) project. Here she expounds on why this site will be a lesson in the importance of park access. Read more

Eliminating Play Deserts

Anne-Marie Spencer | April 24, 2014
In the April 2013 issue of Parks & Recreation Magazine, Associate Editor Samantha Bartram wrote about play deserts and their effects on community and national health and wellness. Here, Anne-Marie Spencer, vice president of marketing and communications for PlayCore, shares additional resources in the works to help eliminate these obstacles to play and invites your feedback on combating play deserts in your community. Read more

Share Your Story the Three Pillars Way

Claudine Heizer | March 7, 2014
Just like many of you, every time I attend the annual NRPA Congress and Exposition, I’m inspired by the ideas and strategies that are presented throughout the week. During the conference I feverishly take notes, dreaming of implementing cutting edge practices and techniques when I return to my desk. The last day of conference feels almost like graduation – full of hope and optimism. Unfortunately, reality strikes within a week or two of returning to my office. Once again, I’m consumed with the traditional day-to-day, keep-your-head-above water tasks and my inspired plans seem to disappear as quickly as they had appeared. Read more

Your Advocacy Can Help the Federal Government Blossom

Sage Learn | March 4, 2014
Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming in the local parks and cherry blossoms will soon be out in D.C. Help plant the seeds or cultivate current ones with your congressional members. Our political leaders need to hear from you, their constituents, to know what issues are important in their communities. Join your colleges and the NRPA Public Policy team at NRPA’s Legislative Forum in D.C. on March 25 and 26 to advocate for the issues that are critical to your agency. Our team will help provide all the training and information you need to have successful meetings and become the valuable resource to Congress, which you already are. Read more

Color, But No Diversity

Samantha Bartram | February 4, 2014

As we put our February issue to bed, those of us at Parks & Recreation Magazine found ourselves somewhat conflicted as we pondered our very colorful cover, meant to illustrate the excitement of adult sports trends. Our observant graphic designer Matt Brubaker pointed out, “even with all that color there is a lack of diversity. How ironic…” Indeed. 

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Taboo Topic: Homeless in the Park

Danielle Taylor | January 22, 2014

The January cover story about homelessness in parks, “Out of the Shadows,” is one I’ve wanted to write for a long time. At both the 2012 and 2013 NRPA Congresses, I attended education sessions on homelessness presented by Sara Lamnin, and in each, I hoped to gather some stories from other attendees of successful programs that park agencies have implemented to work with the homeless people living in their parks. 

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Connecting Seniors to Parks and Rec

Danielle Taylor | December 17, 2013

December’s cover story by John Crompton focused on the evolving lifestyle and financial factors motivating today’s seniors toward recreation. Senior Editor Danielle Taylor discusses how the seniors in her life found a wide range of ways to stay active and well. 

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Parallel Parking Not Required: Parks in Parking Spaces

December 3, 2013

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. The trend of diminishing green space is pretty well summarized in the song “Big Yellow Taxi,” by Joni Mitchell and later the Counting Crows. Luckily for us though, there is a newer trend of taking back some of those parking spaces and converting them into open space and parks—parklets.  At the NLC Conference last month, we met with Seattle’s Department of Transportation who launched a pilot parklet program in August of 2013 that aims to create new public spaces while ensuring the flow of traffic and parking are maintained. Read on to find out more about how parklets might bring unique open space to your community or city. 

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What is an Accessible Trail? Part Two

September 26, 2013

Requirements for accessible trails are evolving and advancing and if you are in parks and recreation, it is time to get familiar with what’s to come in the next few years. In this second part of a two-part blog series, accessibility expert John McGovern, J.D., outlines what you need to know about coming requirements. 

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What is a Trail? What is an Accessible Trail?

August 26, 2013

Trails across the United States help connect people to nature, inspire healthy activities, and by their very nature, help protect natural places - making communities more livable and connected.   Recently there has been a lot of chatter about accessible trails and coming regulations. Maybe you’ve heard about it, maybe you haven’t. Either way, since we all strive to ensure all people have access to the benefits of parks and recreation, like trails, it is critically important to be aware of what is currently in place around trails accessibility and what’s to come in the next few years.  Accessibility expert, John McGovern, J.D., authors this two-part blog series on accessible trails. In this first part, he clears up the confusion about what is currently a requirement at this point in time.  

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An Istanbul Traveler’s Account: More Parks are Desperately Needed in this City

June 26, 2013

One of the fiercest citizen uprisings in Turkey’s recent history ignited and it was all for the love of one little park. Protestors gathered to protect Taksim Gezi Park in Instanbul from redevelopment into a shopping mall.  The protest brought together thousands in Turkey and now globally to defend dwindling green space. NRPA’s own Gina Cohen, was traveling in Turkey during the protests and shares commentary and information about Taksim Gezi Park, the significance of the protests and why these recent events stand as a reminder to us all of the deep significance parks and open public spaces have for people no matter where they are from.  

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From Gravel Lot to Garden of Possibilities

June 17, 2013

Community gardens can be powerful things. They can bring communities together, provide fresh and healthy produce to those that may have no access to fresh fruits and vegetables, they can connect generations and pass on traditions and so much more. Often run by local parks and recreation, community gardens have the power to improve communities. Recently, we visited Rosemont Park District in Illinois and saw first hand how the Grow Your Park grant from NRPA and the Darden Foundation is changing not only the landscape of this small town, but is also bringing generations and the community closer. 

 

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