December 31, 2014, Department, by National Recreation and Park Association

Let us know what you think about what you read each month in Parks & Recreation magazine!When I first [began teaching], I had a child in my classroom who was allergic to peanuts. We were able to have a great school year because we discussed [with her mother] what was needed to be done to keep Erica safe. I had an EpiPen in my desk and [Erica] had one in her backpack. Also, I got most parents on board with not bringing peanut products to school. At the time, peanut allergies were not all that common. I only had one parent who protested against my peanut-free classroom and luckily, we were able to transfer her child to another classroom on another floor. I also would call [Erica’s] mother and let her know if I wasn’t going to be there that day, as [in 1994] peanut-free policies were just in their infancy and she was worried that having a substitute [teacher] would be a problem. Nowadays, all schools in our area are peanut-free. However, all our hard work paid off and Erica had a great school year.

Comment from Elizabeth Moore, a retired teacher with the Sudbury and District Catholic School Board in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, on Julie Bowen’s October 2014 article, “It’s Time to ‘Get Schooled in Anaphylaxis’


In [David G. Davis’ November 2014 article, “Planting Native is a Matter of Life and Death”], he states that “many landscape architects include invasive plants on their plans.” While it’s true that many plans do include invasive plant materials, such as miscanthus, burning bush and flowering pear trees, I don’t think it’s fair to single out landscape architects. Often, site plans may be prepared by engineers or architects, many of whom are lacking in plant knowledge. A landscape architect can be your single greatest resource in designing spaces with good flow and great gardens. These professionals should be consulted when starting new park projects, large and small. As when hiring any consultant, ask about their background. You might be surprised to find more landscape architects with horticultural knowledge than you previously imagined. 

Email from Karen Twisler, LLA, RLA, LEED BD+C, CPRP, Planning and Landscape Architecture, for Remington & Vernick Engineers, regarding David G. Davis’ November 2014 Conservation column, “Planting Native is a Matter of Life and Death


I liked the 10 things [listed in the Open Space blog post] “Still Thankful for Parks and Recreation. How About You?”  I’d add an 11th: Parks and recreation agencies, more so than nonprofits, and more so than privately owned recreation venues — such as fitness clubs, golf courses, amusement parks, gymnastics centers and dance studios — plan and conduct recreation programs and classes for adults and children with disabilities. Talk about a real safety net. People with disabilities need exercise and recreation just as much, if not more than, people without disabilities. And with the American population growing, this is a critical issue. The Centers for Disease Control has the number of Americans 18 and older with a disability pushing 50 million. Counting children, where conservative estimates put the number at more than 3 million, this is a very large and growing demographic group. This is another example of public parks and recreation agencies, from Connecticut to California, leading in the pursuit of a better quality of life for all. Social equity indeed!

Email from John N. McGovern, JD, President of Recreation Accessibility Consultants, LLC, regarding NRPA Director of Marketing and Communications Lauren Hoffmann’s blog post, “Still Thankful for Parks and Recreation. How About You?