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

Let us know what you think about what you read each month in Parks & Recreation Magazine!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 NRPA Connect, let us know how the magazine’s articles apply to your job and your agency.

I want to compliment you on the excellent Julie Bowen article regarding anaphylaxis. You have sent the absolute correct message. I don’t know if you know how controversial this has been — many departments refuse to address this proactively, perhaps thinking, “That’s not our role,” “We’ll have risk management all over us” or “What if our part-time staff does it wrong?” Worst of all, those directors at agencies that want to do this find their hands tied by the city attorney, human resources or risk management. The tasks Bowen describes in her article are so easy to do, and so important. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see this article. Social equity indeed!

Email from John N. McGovern, J.D., President of Recreation Accessibility Consultants LLC, regarding Emmy Award-winning actress Julie Bowen’s October article “It’s Time to ‘Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis.’”


Your article avoids the most important ethical issues. What right do individuals have to go into a national forest that they do not own (you hint at some level of ownership by individuals of the Forest Service lands, but that is clearly not the case, legally or ethically) and build whatever they feel is best for their use? The whole reason for establishing governmental control over these resources is to prevent this type of activity. What would be left if everyone went into the forests and just started digging and constructing whatever they felt was “best?” The answer is “a ruined forest.” Just because you can find support from others that like your particular sport and you can force the Forest Service to accept your vandalism does not make it right or considerate to everyone else. The idea of preservation is to keep the resource as it is, to be enjoyed by everyone in its natural state, not to turn it into some kind of X Games amusement park. 

Comment by Dan Baker, Superintendent of Parks at Richardson Parks and Recreation in Richardson, Texas, on Executive Editor Danielle Taylor’s blog post “Who Owns the Forests?”


Thanks for your article on Minneapolis’ downtown park. I thought you did a good job laying out the issue and challenge. It appears that the park will go ahead with a conservancy model and a small board of private directors. If the conservancy ever fails, however, the bills will end up in the city’s lap anyway. This story will have many more chapters. Nice work.

Email from Dave Smith, a Minneapolis-based freelance writer, regarding NRPA Vice President of Conservation and Parks Rich Dolesh’s October article “‘No Thanks’ Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Rejects Offer of Downtown East Park.”

Is this the product of an audit, possibly just good timing or something else entirely? All parks programs should be experiencing some natural increases in a recovering economy that has been basically down since 2009. How the sales increases account for the more recent economic upswing [and] population increases, and were exactly figured in relation to the cost of the audit is unknown. It is important to remember that correlation is not the same as causation. Ice cream sales increase in the summer and so do drownings, but eating ice cream does not cause drowning. Similarly, two things could be happened independently here as well, an audit and an increase in sales. Unless we have more information, like how park district sales as a whole, across the nation, have been performing, it is not possible to control for other variables and determine causation or if the performed audit had the effect it’s claiming. I am not suggesting that it is not possible the audit led to increased sales, but that it is just as possible that some other variable led to it, or that the audit did not have as much of an impact as is being suggested.

Comment from Dr. Brad Kayden, Founder and President of Jelly Bean Sports, an early learning in sports production and research company in Chicago, Illinois, on Verde Martin Marketing Coordinator Alli Meyer’s September article “The ‘Other’ Audit.”