The Gwinnett Parks and Recreation Department in Georgia is inviting park visitors to seek out dinosaur statues within parks and use the hashtag #MeetMeAtThePark as part of National Parks and Recreation Month. Information on the dinosaurs is also being posted on Facebook by the Gwinnett Parks Foundation.
Providing more information in various ways is important to the Deerfield Park District in Illinois, which has five Facebook pages along with Instagram and Twitter accounts.
The growing tax base in Waco, Texas, will allow the city to invest in necessary street improvements. "I think we've worked with the council really well to start moving some more resources toward infrastructure, particularly streets, which is important to our council and all of our citizens," says city manager Wiley Stem III.
Officials from the city of Columbus, Neb., and Platte County have announced plans for a Joint Communications Center to improve services to both city and county residents. The city will provide facilities and fund initial costs, while the county will supply equipment and contribute to ongoing operating costs.
Engaging Local Government Leaders and OpenGov have launched a project to examine if age, gender, and ethnic or racial diversity in municipal officials fairly reflects the diversity of local populations. "It's really this idea that what gets measured, gets improved," says ELGL Executive Director Kirsten Wyatt, adding that "[y]ou can't solve a problem that you can't identify."
For the second consecutive year, 45 goats have been turned loose in a Minneapolis park as the city tries to control invasive species. "They eat primarily buckthorn, an invasive species, and other unwanted vegetation," said Robin Smothers of the city park and recreation board.
A 10-year, $5.4 million project in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., is one of more than 70 New York City projects where pedestrian plazas have been installed. "Cities are looking for these opportunities, which is the reverse of what they used to do when they widened street after street," says former city traffic commissioner Samuel Schwartz.
Recommendations from the Parks Forward Commission in California will help state parks improve their budget processes, modernize systems and improve staff diversity, write Parks California Chairman Stephen Lockhart and Caryl Hart, a former county and state parks and recreation official. The state will also have a partnerships office to manage vendor and volunteer relationships.
The first of four parks projects has begun in Hammond, Ind. Improvements at Edison Park include playgrounds, dozens of tree plantings, skateboarding, a picnic area and a walkway. "We're trying to give all of our parks their own interesting unique feel, so people will go and visit all the different parks," says Mark Heintz of the city Parks and Recreation Department.
Pediatrician Dr. Robert Zarr of Park Rx America is a leader in the movement to prescribe outdoor time in parks as a health benefit for children and adults. "Clearly there are going to be risks, but the risks of not going outdoors and continuing the pattern of 90% indoors [are] going to kill us," said Capt. Sarah Newman of the National Park Service.