September 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.  

Goats and other livestock certainly have their place in weed management, especially at sites that are dominated by weeds. It is important to note that they are nonselective eaters — they eat natives and non- natives alike. Goats don’t necessarily kill weeds either, but they are another tool in the tool box.

Comment from Bruce Barbarasch, superintendent of natural resources and trails management at Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation in Beaverton, Oregon, regarding NRPA Vice President of Conservation and Parks Richard J. Dolesh’s July 2015 article, “Got Weeds? Get Goats!” 

Choosing this program was the best decision I ever made! All of the professors are truly supportive of all the students. I am proud to be an alumni of this program and proud to be a CTRS

Comment from Kendell Quillin, a former NRPA student member from Texas State University, regarding the June 2015 Open Space blog post, “NC2NV: Texas State University”  

This is some of the dumbest stuff I’ve ever heard of! What part of “public” do people not understand in the phrase “public park?!” On a public boardwalk where I live, there’s a (seemingly) mentally challenged individual who dresses like Richard Simmons and does dance exercises with roller skates and sticks for hours on end. It’ll be a sad day if everybody ever calls in a nuisance complaint. 

Comment regarding James C. Kozlowski, J.D., Ph.D.’s March 2015 article, “Park Playground Ban on Adults Unaccompanied by Children”  

Great article…I totally agree with everything, but REALLY struggle with No. 2. As one professional recently said to me, “government isn’t designed or set to do good things, but rather to keep bad things from happening.” After 20 years and three agencies, there is much truth to this! In terms of innovation I see this every day. While it’s not impossible to do one thing (or even a couple things) “innovatively” — most departments can usually point to something they did innovatively — developing a true culture of innovation is something completely different, and quite honestly usually completely missing from parks and recreation, and government departments in general. And this is a result of the reality of how departments are set up, authorized and managed, as well as risk management, not wanting to compete with the private sector, reactive versus proactive management, risk thresholds of decision makers/elected officials, and lack of understanding among decision makers. I would love to see or hear an in-depth presentation on how, exactly, to create a true culture of innovation that also acknowledges and takes into account the true limitations of department directors/leaders. 

Comment from Michael Kirschman, deputy director at Mecklenburg County, North Carolina’s Parks and Recreation Department, regarding Barbara Heller’s Open Space blog post, “Three Best Practices for Parks” 

I believe that the public will support well-run parks with their taxes and fee dollars. Here in Florida, we have consistently voted to do so. The problem is that our local and state governments do not want well-run parks at all. They would rather privatize them for commercial gain. Contracting out services is viable for certain things such as garbage removal, construction/repair and removal of invasive plants and animals. But in no way should the public lose control of these priceless areas.

Comment from Darryl Saffer, filmmaker and composer at Studio Ray Productions in Sarasota County, Florida, regarding NRPA President and CEO Barbara Tulipane’s January, 2014 Perspectives column, “Park Privatization Issues Challenge Public Parks” 


It seems very strange that you would list the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) among the other resources. STC exists purely to promote sales of recycled rubber-tire products into artificial turf sportsfields. STC lobbied the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) against having child health/safety standards applied to crumb rubber (such as limits on heavy metals.) STC was critical in helping to defeat a California bill for a temporary moratorium on crumb rubber in sportsfields so research into safety/health concerns could be completed. For a balanced representation on this topic, why don’t you also list Environment and Human Health, Inc.? That will give your readers a better understanding of health concerns related to crumb rubber: www.ehhi.org/turf. Recycled tires should be used in highways, road repairs and appropriate applications. Keep crumb rubber — with its carcinogens, heavy metals, endocrine-disrupting chemicals and carbon black, away from places where children play.

Comment from Maggie Pinson, a resident of Edmonds, Washington, regarding NRPA Senior Manager of Professional Development Caroline Smith’s Open Space blog post, “Why Crumb Rubber is in the News”