California Forever, a two-part documentary that chronicles the 160-year history and increasing importance of California’s state parks, comes to PBS this fall. In two one-hour segments, filmmakers Sally Kaplan and David Vassar contrast stories of park pioneers’ efforts to preserve green space for future generations with modern insight into current problems the state parks face. Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.
Members of the military can now enjoy free admission to New Hampshire state parks, thanks to a new law inspired by a Marine mom. Previously, state park admission had been free for some members of the New Hampshire National Guard, but the offer did not extend to all military personnel. The new law specifies that any member of the military can now visit state parks at no charge.
The city of Missoula, Montana, recently announced the release of a new park and recreation license plate, featuring Missoula artist Monte Dolack’s iconic print, “Zoo City.” Proceeds from the plate go directly to “Share The Fun” Youth Recreation Grants for low-income families, which help disadvantaged kids enjoy swim lessons, day camps, youth sports, and other recreation opportunities. The plate is available through the Missoula County Treasurer’s Office for $20, plus a onetime registration fee of $20.
The PGA of America has joined forces with Sticks for Kids, an outreach program funded by the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA) Foundation, to provide specialized instruction and free use of junior clubs at participating facilities throughout the country. The Sticks for Kids program is centered on the philosophy that every child, regardless of socioeconomic status, should have the opportunity to play golf. Furthermore, the program, which currently has 450 sites impacting the lives of more than 63,000 children in all 50 states and at 17 international military bases, emphasizes the rules of golf, etiquette, discipline, integrity, safety, and environmental stewardship in addition to the opportunity for outdoor physical activity. Participating courses receive 10 sets of youth clubs that are available for use at no charge throughout the year.
Following in the trend of San Francisco and other major cities nationwide, Chicago added four miniparks to its urban landscape in early August. Each created on the footprint of two adjacent on-street parking spaces, the “people spots” are part of a new urban planning initiative that views streets as assets for pedestrians and cyclists instead of just conduits for cars. Modular designs allow the parklets to be deconstructed during harsh Chicago winters and reverted into parking spaces until spring. The designs feature inviting tables and chairs or benches for resting, miniature play elements for children, and impact-absorbing walls that safely separate park users from the street.
A new recreation management book is now available from Sagamore Publishing. The Management of Fitness, Physical Activity, Recreation, and Sport is tailored for the needs of future sport and recreational sport professionals who will be involved in managing professional sport and recreation facilities; campus recreation programs; community-based sport programs; sport clubs; health and fitness clubs; aquatic facilities; and nonprofit youth agency sport programs. It not only introduces the students to a variety of management, marketing, financial, and legal concepts related to fitness, physical activity, recreation, and sport, it also shows students how to apply the concepts in real-life situations. Available on www.sagamorepub.com; Hardback: $58.45, Ebook: $42.95.
A trending activity in parks nationwide has become widely accepted to the point of making it into this year’s Merriam- Webster Collegiate Dictionary. “Geocaching” has been officially defined as “a game in which players are given the geographical coordinates of a cache of items which they search for with a GPS device.” The inclusion of the term in one of the world’s most highly regarded reference books showcases not only the popularity of the activity, but also the expectation that it will continue to be a relevant term for years to come.