This month, Murfreesboro (Tennessee) Parks and Recreation Director Lanny Goodwin said goodbye to the department he’s helped shape for close to three decades. Goodwin, who began his park and recreation career in January 1975, was named assistant director of Murfreesboro Parks in 1988 and parks director in 2008. During the course of his career, which has spanned the tenure of four mayors and three city managers, he has amassed an impressive number of personal and professional accolades and spearheaded a long list of events, activities and initiatives for the city of Murfreesboro. One of the most notable community features that came to fruition during his tenure is Murfreesboro’s Parks and Greenway system. Under his leadership, Murfreesboro has long been considered one of the state’s top departments, annually garnering awards from the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association. Goodwin is a graduate of the Revenue Sources Management School—North Carolina State University, a graduate of the National Aquatics School—Oklahoma State University, an NRPA Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and served as chairman of NRPA’s Resources Management School.
- The city council of Mitchell, Indiana, recently passed an ordinance to create a four-member, mayor-appointed Mitchell Parks and Recreation Board, empowered to “perform all acts necessary to acquire and develop sites and facilities to conduct programs generally understood to be park and recreation functions.” Each member of the board will be selected based on his or her interest in and knowledge of parks and recreation, and one member will serve for one year, another for two years, another for three and so on. As the term for each of the initial board members expires, each new member will then serve a four-year term. The board is charged with preparing and submitting an annual budget and overseeing the operation and maintenance of the city parks.
- The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Providence, Rhode Island, partnered with the Providence Parks and Recreation Department to help spruce up the Providence Riverwalk, saving the city about $40,000 in labor costs. Department members, residents and business owners put in new cables, sanded and painted railings. “We really need those groups to help us make those public spaces special,” said Wendy Nilsson, superintendent of parks. “It’s our public spaces that really bring our neighborhoods to life and create community and really engage and inspire one another and the parks department can’t do that alone.” The Rhode Island School of Design is also partnering with PPRD to fix up another portion of the Riverwalk.
- New York City residents will continue to enjoy free Wi-Fi at 27 locations and 21 parks citywide for five more years, thanks to the extension of a partnership, first launched in 2011, between the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and AT&T. The Wi-Fi in the parks initiative, New York City’s first free public Wi-Fi program, allows smartphone and tablet users to stay connected with more than 8.6 million connections. In 2013, as a result of the loss of power and connection problems following the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, AT&T introduced AT&T Street Charge. The units in this system are solar powered and operate in all weather conditions. Now, 34 AT&T Street Charge units are now located throughout the five boroughs at 15 parks and beaches citywide.