Category Archives: Parks + Playgrounds

Guarantee Animal Encounters

Photo Courtesy of Quinta Mazatlan

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Tanzania in East Africa and view the famous Serengeti annual migration, the largest and longest overland migration on earth. In earlier times, visitors brought home trophies of the “Big 5,” but fortunately today most leave with only photographs of the beautiful African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, rhinoceros, and lion. The first stop in Tanzania was an inner-city park designed to educate the local children and families on the importance of protecting … Continue reading

Posted in Departments, Insider Access, Issues, March 2014, Parks + Playgrounds, Parks and Rec Business, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rolling With New Trends

As the sport has grown, more communities are adding
BMX tracks to their parks and recreation facilities.
Photo Courtesy Of: USA BMX

In the last decade, “wheel-friendly” parks and plazas have exploded across the country, whether intended for bikes, skateboards, or both. Skateparks in particular are showing up in communities from St. Cloud, Minn., to Poplar Bluff, Mo., as more parks departments realize the benefits of dedicating public space to individualized action-sport activities.  The action-sport landscape now has another under-realized newcomer gaining ground in public parks: sanctioned BMX race tracks. Until recently and much like skateboarding, BMX racing had little public awareness … Continue reading

Posted in Departments, February 2014, Issues, Parks + Playgrounds, Parks and Rec Business | 2 Comments

Designed For Life

In an attempt to inspire the community and expand programming to encourage environmentally conscious lifestyles, the city of McAllen, Texas, took an historic adobe home and a half mile of trails through an old Thornforest, transforming it into a 15-acre urban sanctuary.  But the city didn’t stop there. Using the sanctuary—known as Quinta Mazatlan—as a backdrop, members of the McAllen Parks & Recreation Department decided to lead by example creating the DiscoveryCenter, a LEED-certified teaching facility with a science laboratory, … Continue reading

Posted in February 2014, Issues, Parks + Playgrounds, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

An Invitation To Learn

Photos: Courtesy of the City of Chandler

In April 2008, the city of Chandler, Ariz., held the grand opening of its newest facility and park—the Environmental Education Center (EEC) located in VeteransOasisPark. In the five years since it opened, the center has had more than 150,000 visitors, and the staff members have learned much about what works—and what doesn’t—at a government-run, tax-funded nature center and park located in the middle of an urban environment.     The EEC has been touted as the gateway to VeteransOasisPark, a 113-acre site. … Continue reading

Posted in Departments, February 2014, Issues, Parks + Playgrounds, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

Downtown Container Park

In October 2012, the old Orbit Inn
was torn down to make way for a
business incubator that provides a
place for food and beverage venues,
retail outlets, entertainment, and
other events.

Big Ern can cook. I mean really, really cook. And if you were a fellow member of his Customer Loyalty Team at Zappos—or wandered by the office at the right time—you got to be one of the select few to enjoy some of the tantalizing dishes he brought to share. More than once, a first-time taster would look up in awe and utter some version of “Big Ern, this is awesome. You should open a restaurant.” Big Ern would smile … Continue reading

Posted in Departments, February 2014, Parks + Playgrounds, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment