February 1, 2015, 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.



Remember the city park system we were about to create when [NRPA’s Vice President of Conservation and Parks Richard J. Dolesh] visited Niterói? We finally made it. Last month [in the neighborhood of] Parnit, the park was created. Now we have more than 40 percent of the city of Niterói territory protected. Thanks for inspiring.
Email from Axel Grael, Vice Mayor of the city of Niterói in Brazil, regarding NRPA Vice President of Conservation and Parks Richard J. Dolesh’s February 2014 article, “Brazil’s Park Challenge.” Niterói, the historic capital of the State of Rio de Janeiro, recently approved a plan to create a citywide park and biodiversity protection area for portions of the Atlantic Rainforest.


I would like to say thank you to Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation and to the Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness program for providing the centers with veterans. I attend the fitness program at Arcola Lakes Park. The staff members are very nice and helpful. I would like to give particular commendation to Mr. Christian Espinoza, who provides excellent fitness training, assistance and workouts. He has a great personality and is consistent with his help to all. He is very well-liked by all and is a good asset to the center. I am 61 years old, and with his help, in three months I have lost 20 pounds and gained muscle mass. I look forward to visiting the center at least three to four days out of the week. Mr. Espinoza is encouraging and knowledgeable and should be commended for a great job.
Comment from Herbert C. Williams, a retired Miami-Dade County Transit Scheduler currently residing in Miami, on Jimmy O’Connor’s November 2013 article, “Empowering Veterans to Improve Community Health.”


I am very concerned about this proposed change in the playground surfacing criteria. We have spent thousands of dollars in the past couple of years installing bonded rubber and poured-in-place and turf at about 30 playgrounds for infants and preschoolers for our Head Start program. If tests/studies do not support a need for a change, I agree there should be no changes. I am also very concerned that a CPSI in a neighboring state is sending out emails to many local day care facilities indicating that this will all go into effect in January or February and offering his services to perform testing for meeting the criteria. Is this not “jumping the gun?”
Comment from Michelle Smith, CPSI, with Head Start Facilities and Support Services at Audubon Area Community Services in Owensboro, Kentucky, regarding NRPA Vice President of Conservation and Parks Richard J. Dolesh’s December 2014 article, “New Playground Criteria Adopted Amid Controversy.”


Besides the news putting undue spin on an industry, it’s interesting that no tire manufacturers or tire handlers were surveyed for cancer or other ailments. You would think that men who handle tires all day, every day for years would have the industry proof. Of course their exposure is extreme and they are not children. Nevertheless, the fact-finding mission hurt American workers and an industry based on a few young moms and a one pediatrician. Totally wrong. You can’t fix it now. The damage is done. It will take boots on the ground to re-educate our school districts, etc. Thank you for this platform.
Comment from Mary Yelton, CPSI, founder and owner of bulk landscape construction company My Bark Co., on NRPA Senior Manager for Professional Development Caroline Smith’s Open Space blog post, “Why Crumb Rubber is in the News.”