The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has introduced the DETOUR app, which provides information about trails at state, local and national parks. The searchable app has a web version and is available for Apple and Android devices.
The Virginia Beach, Va., Parks and Recreation Department is promoting acceptance awareness of autism by taking community questions for people with autism. The department will conduct interviews and put them into a video.
Ambreen Tariq, a Muslim woman who came to the US from India as a child, has written a children's book titled "Fatima's Great Outdoors" that harkens back to her love of visiting parks and camping with her family. Tariq also has an Instagram page called Brown People Camping where she shares her thoughts and connects with other people of color who enjoy the outdoors, along with white allies.
Management of curb space has become increasingly important, and several cities have pilot projects to meet growing demand. Las Vegas is working with Cox Communications to collect data through kiosks that also time how long drivers are at a curb, while Aspen, Colo., is using technology from Coord to create smart zones that can be reserved by delivery drivers.
Water officials in Las Vegas are seeking state support for a ban on decorative grass, arguing that replacing the thirsty greenery with native desert plants will reduce the city's water consumption by 15% per year. If approved, the ban would affect only "nonfunctional turf" -- such as grass on street medians or in office complexes -- not parks or private backyards.
Mayor Tom Arnold of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, Quebec, is seeking provincial support for the city's ongoing battle with the municipality's approximately 800 beavers, whose dams frequently cause local flooding. Arnold says dam-related floods cause road damage that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.
Municipal agencies in Shawnee, Okla., are working together under homeless services coordinator Lauren Craig to provide comprehensive supports for local residents experiencing homelessness. "The key is we will gather all of our agencies, individuals, anybody who's spear-heading a program that affects the countless people experiencing homelessness, together in one room where we can best match somebody to services they need as we try to rehouse them as fast as humanly possible," Craig says.
City Council members in Cape May, N.J., voted unanimously last month to ask interim City Manager Michael Voll to fill the city's top position permanently. Voll has previously served as mayor of Middle Township and administrator of Lower Township.
This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators week, when local governments, public safety agencies, emergency management departments and residents around the country express gratitude for the work 9-1-1 telecommunicators do every day. "The citizens of our collective communities are safer because of the highly professional service they provide, and our emergency responders could not do their work without them," writes Thomas Owens of Frederick County, Va.
Canada is working toward a nationwide upgrade of its 9-1-1 systems and network, but the process may take longer than expected because of a small number of qualified technology vendors and total reliance on volunteers, according to Holly Barkwell, the National Emergency Number Association's Canadian director. However, despite the challenges, "We will get there," Barkwell says.