One-fifth of US recreation and park agencies manage farmers markets, while many more host them, writes Kevin Roth of the National Recreation and Park Association. An NRPA study offers advice to agencies seeking to open or expand farmers markets.
Seattle's four public golf courses generally operate at a profit, minus money given to the Seattle Parks fund, but the city is examining whether golf is the best use of so much acreage amid $35.6 million of identified improvement projects. Public golf courses offer opportunities to enjoy the sport that are otherwise unavailable to many people, argues Bill Schickler, president of Premier Golf Centers, which manages the courses.
A deal was reached to expand the Southside Aquatics Facility at Prairie View Community Park in Spokane, Wash., with two new water slides, more shade areas and an expanded pool deck. The project will cost $916,000, which will come from Real Estate Excise Tax funds, and work is expected to begin once the summer pool season ends.
A water adventure park has been proposed for Springdale, Arkansas, to be built through a public/private partnership. Plans call for a whitewater course and a lazy river plus rock climbing walls, ziplines and ropes courses. The city's mayor plans to set up a group to determine the project's feasibility.
Children and teens in urban areas need to connect with nature and learn about conservation, and that can happen in places besides parks, writes Priya Cook of the National League of Cities. Recreation and park agencies are working with school systems and public and private programs to include young people in conservation work.
Unity Park, which is being developed on the site of the formerly segregated Mayberry Park in Greenville, S.C., is part of a national trend of using equitable development to ensure that areas near redeveloped parks remain affordable and inclusive. Unity Park will incorporate the history of its predecessor, and the city will keep control of neighboring land rather than sell it to developers.
City Council members in Tyler, Texas, this week voted unanimously to accept an $80,000 grant from national nonprofit KaBOOM! to build a new playground in the city's Gassaway Park. "That's a hidden treasure that we've had in north Tyler for a while, and now it's coming to life for the kiddos," says Councilmember Ed Moore.
Good internal communications are made easier when the company is clear about goals and key objectives, writes Alexander Maasik. "No system of organizational communication or culture works unless you and your team work on it day to day," Maasik notes.
NRPA's recent research report, Farmers Markets — Parks and Recreation Connecting Communities to Healthy Foods, explores the role park and recreation agencies play in bringing farmers markets to their communities. This report explores farmers markets' product and service offerings, spanning from fresh produce and protein to entertainment and educational programming, as well as the organizations that agencies partner with to make their markets successful and the challenges they must overcome. Read the report.