The percentage of people in the 100 largest US cities who live within 10 minutes' walk of a park increased by 2 percentage points this year to 72%. Washington, D.C., ranks first in the ParkScore index, released this week by the Trust for Public Land.
The city of Broomfield, Colo., has selected Jennifer Hoffman as its city and county manager, making her the first woman to hold the role. Hoffman has worked with the city for 18 years and will replace Charles Ozaki, whose retirement date is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 1.
South Dakota's state parks system created $16 million in state and local tax revenue in 2017 and 10 times that in economic growth, according to state data. Most visitors are state residents, although tourists make up the majority of Custer State Park visitors.
Zoology students at University Prep Science and Math charter school in Detroit will get to study at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle, a state park. The 20 or so zoology students will learn about subjects such as animal ecology so they're ready for college-level programs and related jobs.
Visitors to the North Carolina Zoo can go on an African safari without leaving Asheboro in the zoo's virtual reality theater. "Expedition AFRICA -- A Virtual Reality Experience" accommodates 10 people for a five-minute presentation.
People who live in communities with lots of public spaces -- including parks and recreation centers but also commercial sites, such as markets and cafes -- are more trusting and less lonely, a study by the American Enterprise Institute's Daniel Cox and Ryan Streeter suggests. "We should factor these important findings about community design into how and where we build our schools, design our local workforce systems, and build more affordable housing," they write.
Parks and community spaces are important to a city's social infrastructure, public and social health, and inclusivity, Akron, Ohio, Mayor Dan Horrigan writes. "It's imperative that we reimagine public spaces as more than just physical assets to maintain but as platforms for equity and neighborhood revitalization," he writes.
Dispatchers from 40 Ohio agencies participated in an in-service training this week that covered internet safety, K-9 calls, the Law Enforcement Automated Data System and other relevant topics. Monte Diegel of the Mercer County Sheriff's Office said the day was useful for new dispatchers and veterans alike.
The fire chief of Coitsville, Ohio, told the Mahoning County Commission that an outdated call routing system is leading to slow response times as he recommended that county fire services be centralized. "Centralizing dispatch is a big question and it's something the Fire Chiefs Association is looking at and wanting the [Council of Governments] to consider," said county commission board chair Audrey Tillis, who said primary infrastructure needs to be in place first.
A legislative proposal in the Wisconsin legislature aims to provide tax credits to volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel to help alleviate a growing shortage. The refundable credits would apply to purchases of equipment and educational activities.
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