- Olympic Day, celebrated worldwide every year on June 23, is meant to promote fitness, well-being, culture and education for people of all ages and abilities, and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. From May 31 to June 30, the U.S. Olympic Committee encourages communities across the United States to celebrate Olympic Day 2016 through educational programming and other activities. Organizations can register to host an event at any time during the month of June. Click here for more information can be found.
- A new law, signed May 11 by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, voids any attempt by cities and counties to impose their own rules about where drones can or cannot be flown. The final measure does allow cities to ban their use in parks — provided that at least one park does permit drones to be flown. That does not apply, however, if a community has only one park.
- The Corner Project, a Manhattan nonprofit that provides health services to intravenous drug users, unveiled the city’s first public syringe drop box in any city park. This pilot project is a collaboration between the nonprofit and NYC Parks Department and is located in the Haven Park Underpass near 177th Street and New Haven Avenue in Fort Washington Park. The location was chosen because it is close to three of the most heavily concentrated syringe pickup spots. In order to integrate the design of the drop box into the landscape of the park, it is shaped like a daisy, with three hollow stems for depositing syringes.
- For 10 years, Steve Hawkins, lead horticulturist for the National Trail Parks and Recreation Department (NTPRD) in Springfield, Ohio, has spearheaded the seeding, growing and planting operation of the flowers that help to beautify the city and its parks in two NTPRD greenhouses. This operation saves the city tens of thousands of dollars. “What we buy for probably $700 to $800 is probably equal to $10,000 if you had to go buy them,” says Hawkins. To help with the planting and upkeep of the flowers, inmates from the Clark County Jail work alongside parks employees, further helping to keep down operational costs.
- Findings of a new study, conducted by the World Health Organization, of more than 3,000 cities around the world, show that “the amount of microscopic particle pollution increased 8 percent between 2008 and 2013,” and that pollution is particularly bad in low- and middle-income regions, where some 98 percent of cities don’t meet the WHO guidelines on air quality compared to 56 percent in wealthy parts of the world. It’s a catch-22 situation however, because some of the same toxic particles that contribute to the deaths of more than 3 million people worldwide each year also help to cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back out into space. Click here to read the entire article.