San Francisco recently commemorated the great success of being the first city in the nation where every resident lives within a 10-minute walk to a park. It is, indeed, a great feat worth celebrating. But not every 10-minute walk is the same.
A grant from NRPA allowed Southgate Recreation & Park District to offer the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program to older adults. The WWE program is a low-impact group-based walking program designed for people with arthritis.
Friends of Hemming Park, a nonprofit organization was contracted by the City of Jacksonville in 2014 to manage Jacksonville’s oldest public park. Since our inception, we implemented placemaking projects and brought regular amenities and programming to the park. Although great things have happened in Hemming Park, the park has also had some recent challenges.
In my three years working at R.O.C.K. (Recreation Of City Kids) Programs with the City of San Jose, the opportunity to implement nature focused enrichment in our daily afterschool program had yet to come up until this past Fall. My supervisor informed me that my school site Majestic Way Elementary was chosen to pilot the Wildlife Explorers Program through the NRPA.
It’s the summer of 1985, and the disco era is transitioning into dance-pop and rock. The outdoor roller skating rink at Durham Parks and Recreation’s W.D. Hill Recreation Center continues to flourish for skaters who have found a new way to dance on wheels with inline skates and rollerblades. The 15-year-old rink, layered with a Sport Court surface, is equipped with a concession building for skate storage and rentals that doubles as the DJ hub for tunes that waft through the neighborhood on summer evenings. The picnic shelter serves as a shaded area for admirers to observe talented skaters “doing their thing.”
It’s hard to imagine that in nine months’ time, a vacant lot in the Dutch Kills area of Queens was transformed into a lively community garden to enjoy nature, promote healthy living, and engage local youth. Soon after being licensed and registered as a GreenThumb community garden, Windmill Community Garden’s development was set into high-gear with the help of the 2016 Disney Parks Build Community program.
As a graduate from art school, and someone who was previously known for avoiding bugs at all costs, I never imagined myself as a leader in the nature-based Wildlife Explorers program. However, my perception and willingness to engage with the natural world has dramatically changed since the beginning of my employment about two and a half years ago at the Carrie Murray Nature Center, under Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.
Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks’ Therapeutic Recreation Division has continued to expand its strong partnership with Special Olympics Maryland. This partnership has allowed the Special Olympics program in Baltimore City to increase the number of athletes participating in community based programming and in programming geared toward individuals in day care programs.
The City of Atlanta was a recipient of the Troops for Fitness grant program supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation and the National Recreation and Park Association. Troops for Fitness provides funding to local park and recreation organizations to help inspire healthy, active lifestyles by training and employing military veterans to instruct community fitness and nutrition classes at local park and recreation agencies.
Elected officials and community leaders gathered a few weeks ago in a warm spring rain to celebrate Oregon’s immigrant cultures and welcome new refugee families. “Can you imagine what it means to leave your homes, schools, jobs, pets and loved lands without your fault?” asked Som Nath Subedi, Program coordinator for Parks for New Portlanders, which hosted the event at Bloomington Park.
You may have seen the popular YouTube video, 5 Extra Years, trending the past few years. If not, take a few minutes to watch. What’s the message behind this video? It’s simple and it’s brutally honest-- this might be the first generation of children to live shorter lives than their parents. Why? Childhood obesity.
Labor Street Park looks much different today than it did twenty years ago. Formerly part of a public housing complex, the park now sits on the border of San Antonio’s beautiful downtown amidst a neighborhood where almost everyone knows your name. In fact, part of the reason my family moved to this area was because of its sense of community.
According to a recent report by the City Budget Office, roughly 15% of Portlanders were born in countries other than the United States– that puts the Rose City right in line with about 50 other large U.S. cities. Unfortunately, for many of our newest Portland citizens, parks and community centers are literally a foreign concept. That is where one of Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s newest programs, Parks for New Portlanders, steps up to welcome immigrant and refugee families into our public park spaces and programs.
Health and wellness is a priority for the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department. To that note, in 2015 the city was awarded a grant from NRPA and the Arthritis Foundation to prioritize senior health by encouraging community residents to get active and participate in the Walk with Ease (WWE) program. The WWE program is an evidence-based, six-week exercise program developed by the Arthritis Foundation designed and proven to reduce arthritic pain and improve overall health.
Viva CalleSJ is an innovative and free program that temporarily closes miles of San José streets to bring communities together to walk, bike, skate, play, and explore the city like never before. The inaugural event was held on October 15, 2015, in Downtown and Eastbound San José.
Almost 70 percent of Henderson, Nevada residents live within a half-mile of a park or recreation amenity—the equivalent of just two laps around a track. With so many parks and trails within walking distance, Henderson residents have a unique opportunity to participate in outdoor experiences right in their own neighborhoods.
Representatives from Imagination International, Inc., the River Road Park District, and Lane Transit District, along with local elementary school students gathered at Emerald Park in Eugene for the official dedication ceremony for the River Road Park Imagination Bus, or "Artie" as it has been affectionately dubbed.
In 2006, a national magazine declared Oklahoma City one of the fattest cities in the United States. That spurred Mayor Mick Cornett into action, first by losing 38 pounds on a diet based on sensible eating and exercise, then by launching a campaign to help his city lose one million pounds. “There’s no other way to put it, we were overweight,” Cornett said. “I knew if I wanted to encourage change in our citizens, I had to first change myself,” Cornett said. The campaign ignited local leadership to reshape how the city needed to change in terms of walkability and citizen fitness.