2014’s Biggest Moments in Parks and Recreation

By Lauren Hoffmann | Posted on December 29, 2014

Let’s take a moment to look back at a few of the top stories and our collective successes that transpired this year in parks and recreation.

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Remember Why We Do This

By National Recreation and Park Association | Posted on December 18, 2014

Park and recreation professionals have several reasons to find hope and joy this holiday season.

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How Parks and Recreation Fared in the Congress FY15 Spending Package

By Kevin O'Hara, Sage Learn | Posted on December 17, 2014

Here’s how programs important to parks and recreation made out in the final FY15 spending package.

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4 Questions (and Answers) about CAPRA Accreditation

By Jay Tryon, CPRP | Posted on December 17, 2014

What exactly is CAPRA and what does it mean for you and your department? Here are four common questions and answers to help you learn more about this distinguished accomplishment.

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His Best Decision: Becoming a Certified Park and Recreation Professional

By Kenya V. Bryant, CPRP | Posted on December 16, 2014

Here's a story of how attaining Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) helped a park and recreation professional and their agency unwrap their potential.

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NRPA Goes Platinum

By National Recreation and Park Association | Posted on December 12, 2014

Here at NRPA headquarters, we’re invested in supporting the Three Pillars of Conservation, Health and Wellness and Social Equity.

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10 Great Uses of Twitter for Parks and Recreation

By Linda Oakleaf, Ph.D. | Posted on December 11, 2014

Linda Oakleaf, Ph.D., provides the “why” and “how” for using Twitter to help your park and recreation agency achieve more visibility and build relationships.

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Why Crumb Rubber is in the News

By Caroline Smith, CPSI | Posted on December 11, 2014

If you are a playground owner or operator you already know that your choice of playground surfacing is one of the most important decisions you will make.

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Confession of a Maintenance Management School Graduate

By Richard V. Alder, CPRP | Posted on December 3, 2014

Completing the Park and Recreation Maintenance Management School at Oglebay Resort was, a shot of adrenalin to an attendee's career in the parks and recreation field. Find out why and get his inside story on why Maintenance Management School is so valuable.

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Still Thankful for Parks and Recreation. How About You?

By Lauren Hoffmann | Posted on November 26, 2014

Just as you may serve up traditional family meals year after year, we thought it would be fun to bring back our list of 10 reasons why we are thankful for parks and recreation.

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How Facebook Changes Affect Parks and Rec (and 4 Ways to Adapt)

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on November 21, 2014

The New York Times reported that Facebook will again change the rankings of posts from business pages making it harder than ever to organically show up in your fans’ newsfeeds.

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Are You Ready if Disaster Strikes?

By Sarah Thompson, MA | Posted on November 19, 2014

On a given work day, 69 million children are in child care programs or school, separated from their families. If a disaster should strike your community are you prepared to protect those that may be in your care?

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You Won’t Believe What Happened After I Attended Event Management School

By Melanie Scoggins, CPRP | Posted on November 19, 2014

I have been in the field of parks and recreation for about 15 years, with most of my work focusing on special event management.You won't believe what happened to our festival after I came back from Event Management School.

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Top 5 Education Session Submission Secrets

By Tom Crosley | Posted on November 17, 2014

Now is the time for you to submit your ideas for an education session for the 2016 NRPA Annual Conference. Here are five tips for submitting a successful education session proposal.

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The Hairy Truth About Parks and Recreation

By Matt Brubaker | Posted on November 14, 2014

Many people don’t know just how influential the moustache has been in the advancement of parks and recreation in America. Here is a brief summary of some of the most significant lip brows in American parks and recreation history.

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What Your Congress Feedback Says About You

By Matt Brubaker | Posted on November 10, 2014

More than 1,000 attendees completed the post-conference survey and shared what they thought about their experience at the 2014 NRPA Congress in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Demonstrating the Power of Parks to Combat Hunger

By Sage Learn | Posted on November 7, 2014

Park and recreation agencies are the largest public provider, outside of schools, for USDA-funded feeding programs. These initiatives provide healthy meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during out-of-school times.

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What the Midterm Congressional Election Results Mean for Parks and Recreation

By Dave Tyahla | Posted on November 6, 2014

The GOP control of the Senate will impact three very important NRPA legislative priorities for the coming year including the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s (LWCF) State Assistance Program, funding for active transportation, and the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization.

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Trails Are Going High Tech. Are You Ready?

By Travis Smith, Ph.D. | Posted on October 28, 2014

What does the park of the future look like? One thing is certain: parks must serve visitors digitally as well as they serve them physically. People expect to get information they need in the snap of their fingers, and in the palm of their hands.

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8 Life Hacks for the 2014 NRPA Congress

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on October 8, 2014

For those making the pilgrimage to the 2014 NRPA Congress in Charlotte, we’re giving it to you straight. Here are the seven things you need to know to make your experience just a little bit easier!

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Saying Goodbye to a Friend

By Editor | Posted on October 2, 2014

The NRPA Congress Guide, 49, quietly passed away at its home in Ashburn, Virginia.

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This is Why You Have to Visit a Park on Friday

By Michael Huffstetler, CPRE | Posted on September 30, 2014

The first Friday in October will be Visit a Park Day! Visit a Park Day is organized by the YPN along with the NRPA to encourage people to visit a local, state, regional or national park.

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Don’t Waste Your Time With NRPA Congress

By Jason Genck | Posted on September 22, 2014

Jason Genck, General Operations Manager of the City of Westminster, Colorado and seasoned NRPA Congress attendee offers these 8 lessons on how not to waste your time at NRPA Congress.

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Natural Play: New Guidelines Mean New Opportunity for Parks and Recreation

By Richard J. Dolesh | Posted on September 11, 2014

Long-awaited national guidelines on the design, development and management of nature play areas were recently released. These guidelines will be invaluable to the park and recreation profession.

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Cell Phone Camera Tricks Pros Don’t Want You to Know

By John R. Johnson | Posted on September 9, 2014

In his Speed Session at NRPA's Annual Conference, John R. Johnson shared tips on using a cell phone for photography – a beneficial skill for park and rec professionals working to raise awareness of programs through communications.

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Healthy Eating Starts with Elephants and Pizza

By Adriane Clutter | Posted on August 27, 2014

NRPA's Commit to Health campaign supports the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating, Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites.

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Austin: Everything for a Reason… and BBQ!

By Kevin O'Hara | Posted on August 26, 2014

NRPA’s Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs Kevin O’Hara continues his series of dispatches from urban park and recreation agencies. Here, he details a visit to Austin, one of Texas’ best-loved cities.

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Let them Play in the Park

By Jessica Culverhouse | Posted on August 20, 2014

In a recent NPR story on play, the author made the case that play is good for the developing brain. As a parent and former educator, I couldn’t agree more. I am often struck by the determent of unstructured play by parents, teachers and caregivers.

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Innovative Sessions: A Seasoned Congress Presenter Speaks Out

By Mat Duerden, Ph.D. | Posted on August 19, 2014

Mat Duerden, Ph.D., shares his story of attending NRPA's Annual Conference. Duerden shares his perspective of education sessions he’s been involved in from research all the way to leading a NRPA Live session!

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What Happens When a Congressman Visits a Summer Food Service Program

By Sage Learn | Posted on August 15, 2014

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation provided NRPA and friends, a tour of the Recreation Center and highlighted the lunch that was being served through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.

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Your Marketing is Missing Something

By Jason Genck | Posted on August 12, 2014

Brand+Aid is the finest focused-topic conference I’ve attended in my career.

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This Exists: Wild Boar in Houston Parks

By National Recreation and Park Association | Posted on July 22, 2014

Director Joe Turner and his team also have the privilege of removing wild boar from their parks—how many urban park systems can say they do that?

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Your Park is Your Family

By Samantha Bartram | Posted on July 18, 2014

As park and rec professionals, we need to remind our constituents that our agencies offer the kind of services and assurances that can help turn back the clock to a time when the public trust was a bit stronger and children’s free time was spent outside with friends or the family dog, rather than constantly under their parents’ watchful eyes.

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9 Ways to Have a Better Summer Camp

By Ken Keffer and Stacy Tornio | Posted on July 15, 2014

Summer camp is the ultimate adventure for a kid. It’s a place to discover new things, push comfort zones and experience the outdoors. Browse 9 ways to keep kids busy and happy while gaining a whole new appreciation for nature.

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What You Need to Know About LWCF Right Now

By Barbara Tulipane, CAE | Posted on July 14, 2014

Gateway Park is a success story – a success story of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program – one of over 40,000 LWCF State Assistance program successes across America.

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10 Ways to Get OUTside this July

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on July 10, 2014

Using inspiration from our members and social media followers, here are 10 ways to get OUTside this July that may be a bit different from the usual.

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High-Five Moments Coming Soon to Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park

By Kevin Cook | Posted on July 8, 2014

The playground is a place where “high-five” moments are made and remembered. Well these moments are coming soon to the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park as part of the Parks Build Community project.

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“I Knew I Wanted to Lead my own Department in the Future”

By Cindi Wight, CPRE, MR | Posted on July 8, 2014

“I knew I wanted to lead my own department in the future.” These were the exact words Cindi Wight, CPRE, MR wrote in a blog post in May 2013 about her intoxicating, incredible experience at Directors School.

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Assimilating New Presenters to Congress

By Jenna Tyler, CPRP | Posted on July 7, 2014

A first-time NRPA Annual Conference presenter shares a little bit about her session on the importance of assimilation for your agency employees.

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Need Some Last Minute Inspiration?

By Sarah Mylcraine | Posted on June 30, 2014

Park and Recreation Month is here and soon all the brainstorming, planning, preparing and more will be put into action.

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5 Global Megatrends and What they mean for Parks and Recreation

By Barbara Tulipane, CAE | Posted on June 26, 2014

I recently shared an article about the insurance industry’s assessment of “five global certainties that will impact insurance, business, and the world.” What do they mean for parks and recreation?

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5 Tips for Camping With Kids

By Jessica Culverhouse | Posted on June 25, 2014

My husband and I both grew up in camping families, and when our son was born, we knew we wanted to take him camping often to help foster a love for the outdoors. I encourage you to pack up the kids and the tent and head to your local park.

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Have you gone OUTside Today?

By Lauren Hoffmann | Posted on June 24, 2014

How much time do you spend outside during the week? For the average adult in the U.S., chances are the amount and time spent outdoors is relatively brief.

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Who Owns the Forests? Mountain Bike Trail Riders and Park Pros Weigh In

By Danielle Taylor | Posted on June 19, 2014

The U.S. Forest Service manages more than 4 million acres along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range, and in recent years, the land has been inundated with problems due to illegal trail building by mountain bikers in the area.

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Look Who’s Committing to Health

By Editor | Posted on June 16, 2014

Virginia’s Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has a mission to be the happiest, healthiest place to live, learn, work and play. Recently, the department pledged with NRPA to Commit to Health.

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Certification as Culture

By Sara Baldwin | Posted on June 9, 2014

For the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) in Fairfax County, Virginia, certification of staff through the NRPA Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) program has essentially become part of the culture for their staff.

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Sharing to Learn at Directors School

By Tom O'Rourke | Posted on June 6, 2014

The people that choose to attend Directors School are management level professionals that, in many cases, have as much to offer as the instructor. It is this facilitated knowledge sharing that makes the school so unique.

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Creating a Healthier Community Through Meals, Outdoor Adventures and More

By Sage Learn | Posted on June 2, 2014

NRPA recently visited Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department in Tennessee, one of 50 agencies that recently received a grant through NRPA and the Walmart Foundation to provide better access to healthy meals.

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Vice President Biden and Honorable Guests Tour CityArchRiver Project

By Emma Klues | Posted on May 27, 2014

On May 13th, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visited St. Louis, Missouri and lauded the important work of practicing conservation, promoting recreation and building parks!

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Zombie Survival: Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick

By Ann Cejka | Posted on May 19, 2014

Zombie Survival Camp, a week long day camp program in which children learn basic wilderness survival skills, emergency disaster planning and teamwork all while fighting off occasional attacks from what I call “real” fake zombies.

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Journey to Healthier Lifestyles through Commit to Health

By Kim Chappelow-Lee | Posted on May 15, 2014

Out of school time (OST) programs were seen as safe havens where kids could spend the late afternoon hours while their parents were still at work. Park and rec agencies quickly got involved in this evolving industry.

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5 Ways to Celebrate Kids to Parks Day

By Jessica Culverhouse | Posted on May 14, 2014

Spring is a great time to visit a park to enjoy the wonders of the natural world as plants and wildlife reemerge from their winter rest.

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Why Certify Youth Sports Coaches

By Ronald Strickler, Jr, CPRP | Posted on May 14, 2014

The NRPA Young Professional Network (YPN) is back with information on the importance of training and certification for youth sports coaches.

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Community Connections in Charlotte

By Danielle Taylor | Posted on May 7, 2014

Danielle Taylor, traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park, NRPA’s Parks Build Community (PBC) project. Learn why this site proved to be a lesson in the importance of park access.

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Springtime Changes

By Samantha Bartram | Posted on May 6, 2014

Each month, as you crack the spine of a fresh Parks & Recreation Magazine, we hope the experience is both exciting and familiar.

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Fridays are for Facebooking

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on May 2, 2014

According to new analysis reported on in Time, Fridays may be the best time to post on Facebook to get the most visibility. Roxanne Sutton offers ways for you to take advantage of this new information.

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Five Days to Big Green Results during Earth Week

By Lauren Hoffmann | Posted on April 29, 2014

Earth Day and Earth Week week wrapped up this past Friday and I think I can speak for NRPA staff; it is amazing how much good you can do in just a little bit of time.

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Eliminating Play Deserts

By Anne-Marie Spencer | Posted on April 24, 2014

In the April 2013 issue of Parks & Recreation Magazine, Samantha Bartram wrote about play deserts and their effects on community and national health and wellness. Explore resources to combat play deserts in your community.

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NRPA Gears Up for Earth Week

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on April 15, 2014

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22—a reminder that we’re all part of this world and we’re responsible for taking care of it.

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Gwinnett County Commits to Health!

By Tina Fleming;Elizabeth Radley;Lindsey Daniels | Posted on April 10, 2014

Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) recently joined the National Recreation and Park Association’s Commit to Health Initiative.

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The Mentor

By Kayode Lewis, CPRP | Posted on April 8, 2014

NRPA Young Professional and Administrator’s Network offers NRPA members the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program.

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How Clayton County Celebrates Park and Recreation Month!

By Briana Yelverton | Posted on April 2, 2014

Briana Yelverton, Marketing and Communications Specialist for Clayton County Parks and Recreation, discusses ways they have found success in engaging their community with Park and Recreation Month.

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NRPA Leg Forum 2014: Just Say Yes to Parks!

By Kevin O'Hara | Posted on March 28, 2014

Advocates from many states descended on Capitol Hill to educate their elected officials about the good work park and recreation professionals do in their communities, and how federal programs can help them do this work.

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Meeting Demands of our Two and Four-Legged Residents

By M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks Park and Trail Planning Staff | Posted on March 20, 2014

What is a dog park and what is the demand for dog parks like—especially in urban areas? Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission staff share their experiences.

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Share Your Story the Three Pillars Way

By Claudine Heizer | Posted on March 7, 2014

Every time I attend The NRPA Annual Conference, I’m inspired by the ideas and strategies that are presented throughout the week.

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Nomination Counts: Winning a National Award Advanced My Career

By Thomas Venniro | Posted on February 28, 2014

Did I ever expect to win a National Award? I guess not; but I would have never known or had the chance if someone did not take the time to nominate me.

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MWR Internships Provide Fresh Look at Career Opportunities

By Jason Tryon;John Prue;Samantha Bartram | Posted on February 21, 2014

Internship opportunities for young park and recreation professionals abound in the world of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), even if you don’t have your sights set on a career serving the military.

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“Parke Diem”— Mobilizing Grassroots to Support Your Parks

By Nick Hardigg | Posted on February 13, 2014

In the February issue of Parks & Recreation (“Seizing the Day”), we shared the story of “Parke Diem” — a grassroots campaign for volunteering and raising awareness of park needs. We built a citywide coalition of 50 park-supporting groups for two days of stewardship.

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And Action!

By Will Lebzelter | Posted on February 11, 2014

Learn how park and recreation pros can easily start to incorporate videos into regular communications.

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Color, But No Diversity

By Samantha Bartram | Posted on February 4, 2014

As we put our February issue to bed, those of us at Parks & Recreation Magazine pondered our colorful cover, meant to illustrate the excitement of adult sports trends. Our graphic designer Matt Brubaker pointed out, “even with all that color there is a lack of diversity.

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Welcome to Open Space

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on February 3, 2014

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” This quote by William Pollard, might seem like a lofty quote to describe the process of rebranding a blog.

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What the Heck are Hashtags!?

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on January 31, 2014

It’s time to explain what hashtags are and how parks and recreation can use them with a good ol’ who, what, when, where, why and how.

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5 Ideas for Exploring Nature with Kids this Winter

By Jessica Culverhouse | Posted on January 23, 2014

Here in the mid-Atlantic region, we have experienced a winter of wild temperature fluctuations and, most recently, an unusually heavy snowfall. For me, a “snow day” involves entertaining a busy toddler who would rather be out tromping through the fluffy white stuff.

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Taboo Topic: Homeless in the Park

By Danielle Taylor | Posted on January 22, 2014

The January cover story about homelessness in parks is “Out of the Shadows.” I hope to gather stories of successful programs that park agencies have implemented to work with the homeless people living in their parks.

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Environmental Stewardship; Parks and Recreation Leading the Way

By Dr. June N. Price-Shingles | Posted on January 15, 2014

Research demonstrates that students who learn in the field gain greater command of their subjects and enjoy their time learning. The charge of “reconnecting youth to nature,” focuses on the need to fashion environmental stewards.

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My Two Cents on Revenue School (and clichés)

By Paul Gilbert | Posted on January 6, 2014

How do we think about things in a fresh manner and seek to increase the performance of what we are doing within the field of parks and recreation?

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