Some mayors just get it. Whether it’s because of their personal experiences with parks and recreation, their long-term foresight to see the value that parks and recreation provides to their city, or some combination of both, mayors who place a priority on parks and recreation can reap the rewards of happier, healthier, and more prosperous cities. In this year’s annual feature on mayors, we interview Mayor Mick Cornett of Oklahoma City, Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, and Mayor Michael McGinn of Seattle about why they value parks and recreation and how parks fit into their vision for improving their cities.
If ever there was a neighborhood in need of a park, the El Sereno neighborhood of East Los Angeles would be it. With a large population of children and nowhere nearby for them to play, the community has long argued for a new park on some vacant property. See how NRPA’s Parks Build Community initiative worked with L.A. Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa’s 50 Parks campaign to change that vacant property into a nature play area and neighborhood gathering point.
Community Build Day brought neighbors out to lend a hand in the construction of the new park
What’s old is new again, as magnetic induction lighting technology invented by Nikola Tesla in the 1890s is now appearing in parks across the country and in this month’s Operations article. Magnetic induction lighting systems, along with LED streetlights and remotely operated, dark-sky-friendly field lighting systems, offer startling energy savings, a much longer operating life, and fewer maintenance headaches.
A reforestation project goes awry after an awful sledding accident in this month’s Law Review column. See if a city will be held liable due to crab apple trees planted too close to a sledding hill, even though they would appear at first glance to be an open and obvious danger.
Finally, hear what your colleagues are saying about how they successfully work with city hall in the second installment of our new Network Buzz feedback column. Members of the Administrators Network share a few of their top tips for keeping their mayor and city council happy and well informed.
Elizabeth Beard is the Managing Editor for Parks & Recreation magazine.