Notable News

March 1, 2016, Department, by NRPA

-     Two years ago, NRPA joined First Lady Michelle Obama and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to announce a new partnership to support children’s health. Park and recreation agencies are the health and wellness leaders in our communities; that’s why we created Commit to Health — a campaign that supports the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating, Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites across the country. Today, the Alliance is supporting 929 park and recreation sites across the country to achieve the HEPA standards, positively impacting the health outcomes for more than 100,000 kids. We encourage you to join agencies across the country and take the next step to Commit to Health with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. 
-     In recent months, two surveys have been published that contain information of interest for park and recreation professionals: The 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors, conducted by the Boston University Initiative on Cities, and Do Neighborhood Parks and Playgrounds Reduce Childhood Obesity? by Ball State University. NRPA President and CEO, Barbara Tulipane, CAE, highlights some findings from the Menino survey that pertain to parks and recreation in this month’s Perspectives column (see page 6). Professors Maoyong Fan from Ball State University and Yanhong Jin from Rutgers University analyzed the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, which collected information on neighborhood parks and playgrounds, as well as sidewalks and paths, community centers and children’s clubs in all 50 states. Among their findings: Adding parks to a neighborhood may reduce the probability of being overweight or obese by about 3 percentage points for boys and by 5-6 percentage point for girls. 
-     The city of Dallas recently adopted a new Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plan and its first-ever Recreation Master Plan, both developed in partnership with Philadelphia-based interdisciplinary design firm Wallace Roberts and Todd (WRT). Although the city has added 570 acres of parkland since 2002, it has struggled to create parkland quickly enough to ensure access for all of its residents. The new plans call for an integrated, sustainable parks system that looks at present and future needs of the city’s residents. 
-     The city of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department now has 28 parks with smart water meters installed, giving the city the ability to monitor water use and locate leaks in real-time. Before the installation of the meters, the department used utility bills to monitors water use at the park. With the meters, city officials will automatically be alerted of leaks and can monitor data, on a cloud server, that is being collected every 15 minutes. Last year, the department reported a 26 percent decrease in water use, which is said to equal the amount of water used by 8,000 city households.