Trails Are Going High Tech. Are You Ready?

Travis Smith, Ph.D. | October 28, 2014
At the conclusion of another successful NRPA Congress, we find ourselves thinking about the future. What does the park of the future look like? One thing is certain: great parks must serve visitors digitally as well as they serve them physically. People expect to get information they need in the snap of their fingers, and in the palm of their hands. A park experience must be excellent before, during and after a visit. That’s why the National Recreation and Park Association has been participating in the development of OpenTrails, an open data format for publishing trail maps across the web. OpenTrails is designed to help you take your existing GIS data—which is hopefully already in the PRORAGIS format—and make it useable in mobile apps, web maps and more. Read more

This is Why You Have to Visit a Park on Friday

Michael Huffstetler, CPRE | September 30, 2014
Who doesn’t love a Friday? When it is Friday there is a palpable energy and anticipation of what’s to come as the traditional work week comes to a close and the weekend prepares for its debut. This Friday – the first in October – will be filled with an added buzz. The buzz of Visit a Park Day! Visit a Park Day is organized by the Young Professionals Network  along with the National Recreation and Park Association as a way to encourage people everywhere to take a few minutes to visit a local, state, regional or national park to experience the benefits and to inspire many return visits. Read more

Natural Play: New Guidelines Mean New Opportunity for Parks and Recreation

Richard J. Dolesh | September 11, 2014
The long-awaited national guidelines on the design, development and management of nature play areas written by Robin Moore, noted professor of landscape architecture and head of the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) of North Carolina State University, have been released this week. These guidelines will be invaluable to the park and recreation profession. Read more

Let them Play in the Park

Jessica Culverhouse | August 20, 2014
In a recent NPR story on play, correspondent John Hamblin made the case that play is good for the developing brain. As a parent and former educator, I couldn’t agree more. I am often struck by the determent of unstructured play by parents, teachers and caregivers, even in the toddler years. 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

What You Need to Know About LWCF Right Now

Barbara Tulipane, CAE | July 14, 2014
Gateway Park in Fort Worth, Texas is a treasured community park.  Close to home for many, this park is a prime destination for outdoor recreation, with trails, fields and waterways.  This park is a place where the community can gather, connect with nature and improve their quality of life. Gateway Park is also a success story – a success story of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program – one of over 40,000 LWCF State Assistance program successes across America, to be exact.  That’s why it was only fitting that last week’s announcement of this year’s funding for the LWCF State Assistance Program was made in Gateway Park. Read more

10 Ways to Get OUTside this July

Roxanne Sutton | July 11, 2014
This July, we’ve been asking everyone to get OUTside and INspired through parks and recreation. I’ve said the phrases, “It’s Park and Recreation Month” and “OUT is IN” so many times it’s become less of a statement and more of an answer to questions. Using inspiration from our members and social media followers, here are 10 ways to get OUTside this July that may be a bit different from the usual. Read more

5 Global Megatrends and What they mean for Parks and Recreation

Barbara Tulipane, CAE | June 27, 2014

I recently shared an article about the insurance industry’s assessment of “five global certainties that will impact insurance, business, and the world.”  With a title like that, you just have to open it and read it, right?  I mean, it’s only prudent to get smart about global certainties that will impact the world. So what are these earth-shaking ‘megatrends’ that will impact business, the world, and of course, the insurance industry? And what do they mean for parks and recreation?


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Have you gone OUTside Today?

Lauren Hoffmann | June 24, 2014
How much time do you spend outside during the week? Ok, this is probably an unfair question to pose to most of you park and recreation professional out there, but for the average adult in the U.S., chances are the amount and time spent outdoors is relatively brief. Read more

5 Ways to Celebrate Kids to Parks Day

Jessica Culverhouse | May 15, 2014
If you’re a regular Open Space reader, you may have seen my first blog for NRPA, 5 Ideas for Exploring Nature with Kids this Winter. Mercifully, that long, white winter is behind us, and it’s time to shed the extra layers of clothing and head back to the park to enjoy spring: the season of renewal and rebirth. There is so much to do in the park during the springtime – from baseball games to busy afternoons at the playground. Spring is also great time to get into the park to enjoy the wonders of the natural world as plants and wildlife reemerge from their winter rest. Read more

Fridays are for Facebooking

Roxanne Sutton | May 2, 2014
Ah, Friday afternoons. Time for thinking about happy hours, weekend plans and Facebook posts. Wait. Facebook posts? Roxanne Sutton, NRPA’s Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist and honorary social media maven, has the latest scoop on a new analysis reported on in Time that uncovers some interesting findings about Facebook and the best time to post to get the most visibility. And she offers ways for you to take advantage of this new information. 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

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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Welcome to Open Space

Roxanne Sutton | February 3, 2014

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” This quote by William Pollard, an English Quaker who wrote A Reasonable Faith, might seem like a lofty (and old) quote to describe what someone might simply call a “blog makeover.” However, I think there is a lot of truth in it that can be applied to the process of rebranding and redesigning a blog. And personally, this quote also gives me some assurances on why change can be a good and powerful thing.

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What the heck are hashtags!?

Roxanne Sutton | January 31, 2014

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve asked and been asked this question. So, I’ve decided it’s time to break it down and explain what hashtags are and how parks and recreation can use them with a good ol’ who, what, when, where, why and how. You don’t have to be a social media genius to use them and they are definitely applicable for parks and recreation.

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