Mail Tribune Share
The blitz of the high-tech age has impacted a generation of young people and the results are troubling. Many of our kids today are unhealthy. They don't exercise and they're literally addicted to a bevy of junk food and super-sized happy meals. You can see this anywhere you go in America. Childhood obesity rates are skyrocketing and the results for kids are diabetes and escalating health care costs for all of us. In a 2008 study, Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences found the use of America's parks and forests may be down by as much as 25 percent since 1987. Our society is becoming more in tune with sedentary activities rather than nature-related activities. More
Grant awarded Gainesville (Ga.) 'how to swim' program
A Gainesville, Ga., program that has taught 168 sixth-graders how to swim so far this fall has gotten a financial shot in the arm from a national organization. The Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department is one of twelve organizations nationwide receiving grants of up $5,000 from the USA Swimming Foundation. The Gainesville program expects another 250 to complete the program before the school year ends. More
Operation TLC2: Making Communities Safe!
The National Recreation and Park Associationís (NRPA) Operation TLC2 Making Communities Safe is a volunteer management and background screening program designed to ensure that your agency attains the best, most qualified volunteers to support the safety and quality of life your community needs.
This program supports the NRPA Recommended Guidelines for Credentialing Volunteers, developed to ensure that members never grant the privilege of working with our most vulnerable populations without first qualifying volunteers through a comprehensive national criminal background check system.
To take advantage of this member benefit, visit the NRPA Store at www.nrpa.org. For more information, contact NRPA at 800.626.6772 or www.nrpa.org/tlc2.
Rep. Marcia Fudge launches bid to fight childhood obesity
The Plain Dealer Share
Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge wants to officially designate each September as "National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month." "It's important for kids to play at least sixty minutes a day to promote a longer life," said Fletcher, citing estimates that obese children have lifespans that are nine years shorter than their parents. More
Gun owner seeks to suspend mayor's firearms ban in Seattle parks
The Seattle Times Share
Seattle resident Bob Warden, who filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging Seattle's ban on guns in parks and other recreation facilities, has filed for a preliminary injunction to prevent Mayor Greg Nickels from enforcing the ban. In his request, recently filed, Warden asks that the ban be lifted until his suit is resolved. More
Ohio state parks host more overnight visitors in '09
Columbus Dispatch Share
Funding for state parks is dropping, but attendance at Ohio-owned campgrounds, lodges and cottage isn't. The number of overnight stays in state parks through November was 632,533, an increase of about 8 percent from the same period in 2008, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported yesterday. In that period, the average length of a stay at state-owned facilities increased 14 percent, from 2.56 nights to 2.91 nights. More
Sehmel Park will be home to Boundless Playground
Kitsap Sun Share
PenMet Foundation recently handed over a $155,000 check to PenMet Parks for a Boundless playground, a uniquely designed playground that accommodates people with disabilities. The foundation is just $10,000 short of its $200,000 fundraising goal for the project, and plans to step up efforts in December to close the gap. The playground was the idea of Jennifer Flint-Nelson, of Gig Harbor, who wanted to provide recreational opportunities for people of all abilities. She sought out a nationwide grant for the Boundless playground, and was among the top five finalists, but did not receive the money.
Case study: MetroParks chooses to recycle used oil, not wood
EP Magazine Share
Dave Spitler, an assistant park manager at Five Rivers MetroParks in greater Dayton, Ohio, was searching for a better way to heat buildings other than using wood-burning stoves. "There was a big cost factor in man hours to have staff members cut and split wood for the stoves," he explained. MetroParks operates 99 fleet vehicles and 98 small motorized vehicles, including Gators and lawn mowers, that are used to maintain nearly 15,000 acres of park facilities. The disposal of used oil can be costly. More
Obesity, inactivity keeping heart health stats down
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Share
While physicians and surgeons are getting better at treating heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems, too many Americans are ignoring the basic rules for preventing them, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association.
Snowmobile trails disappearing in Minneapolis suburbs
Minneapolis Star-Tribune Share
The days are numbered for some suburban snowmobile trails as development and park regulations combine to squeeze them out. For three decades, Craig Wissink has seen to it that snowmobilers have trails to ride through the northwest suburbs of Hennepin County. Development has whittled away 50 miles of those trails, and Wissink -- Maple Grove trail captain for the Northwest Trails Association -- worries that future construction will leave suburban snowmobilers in his area maybe five more years to enjoy trails close to home. More
State parks, forests face cutbacks
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Share
Hunters, anglers and others who spend some of their time in state parks and forests will notice some changes in the coming year. Specifically, they're going to have make do with less. John Quigley, acting Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, testified last week before the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. He told them that budget cuts and a resulting reduction in staffing -- brought on by a 19 percent reduction in funding -- is going to mean the park and forest will be run differently.
Waco Mammoth Site takes another step toward recognition as national monument
Waco Tribune Herald Share
Legislation to establish the Waco Mammoth Site as a national monument neared the finish line recently, clearing the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The measure, which already passed the House, is expected to go to the full Senate for a vote in early 2010, said the office of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. More
Board backs nature and golf at Sharp Park
San Francisco Chronicle Share
One of the Bay Area's most impassioned political showdowns involves snakes, frogs and golfers - and a whole lot of interest from local, state and federal officials. The focus is on Sharp Park, an 18-hole golf course located in the seaside city of Pacifica but owned and maintained by San Francisco. The popular course serves as an important habitat for the federally protected San Francisco garter snake and the red-legged frog - the former an endangered species, the latter threatened.
TV sports star calls childhood obesity 'startling'
Sports Illustrated Share
"Monday Night Football'' analyst Ron Jaworski told Congress on Wednesday that childhood obesity levels in the U.S. are "startling'' and that kids need to get more exercise to help stem the epidemic. Jaworski, a former NFL quarterback, testified on behalf of both his United Way Jaws Youth Fund in New Jersey and NFL Play 60, a campaign that encourages youth to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. More
Texas Parks and Wildlife launches big blue catfish study
North Texas e-News Share
At a time when many anglers have put away their fishing gear in favor of picking up a .30-06 and heading to the deer lease, a few avid anglers know the cold weather can provide a great opportunity to catch big blue catfish. Although it is not entirely necessary to endure 31-degree temperatures in order to catch big blue catfish, it may help. Those were the conditions when Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries staff arrived at Richland-Chambers Reservoir in mid-December as part of a special study on the fish. The trip was the first of a series of winter-time research trips to help biologists better understand what it takes to produce big blue catfish at Richland-Chambers and two other Texas reservoirs. The research is designed to evaluate an experimental 30- to 45-inch slot length regulation geared towards enhancing the trophy catfish potential of lakes Waco, Lewisville, and Richland-Chambers. More
Why Arizona state parks are on the chopping block
ABC News ‚Äď Phoenix Share
Arizona State Park Board Member Bill Scalzo says the board has spent hundreds of hours in meetings, trying to figure out how to sustain state parks with increasingly limited resources. "When we're cut to a point that will be one third of what we need to operate, it won't be safe to keep all these parks open," said Scalzo. More