August 1, 2014, Department, by National Recreation and Park Association

Let us know your thoughts about what you read in Parks & Recreation.We hope the articles you read in Parks & Recreation are thought-provoking and engaging, and we want to hear your opinions on what you read in these pages. Through social media posts, website comments, emails to staff or posts on Connect, let us know how the magazine’s articles apply to your job and your agency.

For as long as I can remember, we have had flocks of cowbirds, grackles and red-winged blackbirds in this area of southeastern Minnesota. The cowbirds and grackles were especially big pests. In the last seven weeks, 99 percent of the cowbirds and grackles disappeared, and about 80 percent of the red-winged blackbirds, 90 percent of the swallows and 75 percent of the robins also disappeared. This area is about 75 percent corn and bean fields. The last six weeks coincides with this year’s late planting of corn and beans as well as subsequent applications of herbicide and insecticide. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s actually frightening and almost like I would imagine [Rachel Carson’s book] “Silent Spring.” I am suspicious of a new insecticide being used. I don’t know what else it could be.

Comment on July's article, What is Killing our Birds and Bees? by Dennis Deters, a Spring Grove, Minnesota-based legal analyst.


I found this article to be very informative. I am looking to further my career in the field and hope to pursue a Ph.D. and teach at the collegiate level one day. I have always wanted to share my real-world experiences in the classroom. As the article suggests, theory is not merely enough to be successful in this field.

Comment on July's cover feature, Learning Curve, by Tiffany P. White, Douglass Park Program Coordinator, Champaign Park District, Champaign, Illinois.


I am the small parks specialist for the Washington, D.C., Department of Parks and Recreation. I just finished reading your article in the January issue of Parks & Recreation Magazine about homelessness — it was a good read. I want to thank you for writing that article; it has been the only one that I have been able to find about this issue.

Email from Xavier Brown, Small Parks Specialist, Washington, D.C., Department of Parks & Recreation, regarding January’s cover feature, “Out of the Shadows.” 


This article needed to get out. Our project in Nicaragua actually started with a design for three separate trails: mountain bike, walking and a horse trail. This way we can properly handle each trail’s own unique “footprints.”

Comment by Indio Jones, a conservationist and environmental activist working with O Parks, Wildlife and Recreation based in El Ostional, Rivas, Nicaragua, on Parks & Recreation Magazine Executive Editor Danielle Taylor’s Open Space blog post, “Who Owns the Forests? Mountain Bike Trail Riders and Park Pros Weigh In.


I’d like to share the Power of Parks Prezi, but I think the employment section is off-base. The public doesn’t care about the employment rate of park and recreation professionals, but people do care that this sector creates jobs. I think the text should be reframed, or you could just cut that section. It is a weak link in an otherwise solid presentation.

Email from Janet Donnelly, Public Affairs Coordinator with Oregon’s Willamalane Park and Recreation District, regarding NRPA’s Power of Parks Prezi.