Category Archives: December 2009

Do You Need A Big Belly?

Besides Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch, I bet you thought you’d never hear of a talking trash can. But every day in Philadelphia, over 500 trash cans converse with the Department of Street’s management team. The BigBelly solar-powered trash-compaction units wirelessly communicate via a short-message service–i.e., text messaging (yes, even trash cans are texting). A central server allows managers to review the status of all BigBelly trash cans in real time. “You can minimize the number of trips to remove … Continue reading

Posted in December 2009, Parks + Playgrounds, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

Hidden Meaning

Nestled among century-old oak trees near the East Branch of the DuPage River in Illinois is the Bolingbrook Park District’s newest attraction and crown jewel–the Hidden Oaks Nature Center. The 7,000-square-foot, sustainably designed building provides numerous interactive learning experiences that promote interest in and respect for the natural world, while encouraging responsible environmental behavior. Taking its cue from nature, the building is designed to be like a “tree house” and blend into its surroundings. The site is being returned to … Continue reading

Posted in December 2009, Grounds + Sports Turf, Issues, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

Man Vs. Machine

Editor’s Note: This column, “LBWA” (Leadership By Wandering Around), is based on the premise that, in order to find out what’s going on in the field, a parks and rec leader has to leave his or her desk and “wander around” the area of operations, talk to people, ask questions, and kick around ideas with the individuals in the thick of delivering services to the public. So the author will bring up issues and ask the leaders among the readership … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, December 2009, Departments, Issues, LBWA, Parks and Rec Business, Writers | Leave a comment


If we’ve had a mantra this year, and I love the idea of mantras (or at least the sound of the word), ours would have been “Change is Good. Right?” Like many of you, the economy and ever-changing technological landscape forced us to evaluate, experiment and ultimately, radically change the way we operate portions of our little business. The “portion” under immediate attack was content delivery–namely, how you can access our feature stories and articles and what you can do … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, December 2009, Issues, Parks and Rec Business, Publisher's Note | Leave a comment


The debate over giving trophies in youth sports is attracting more attention than ever these days, with no easy answers in sight. For every recreation department that presents a trophy, medal or certificate to each child who puts on a uniform and steps on the field, there is another department that simply hands out trophies to the kids who played on the first- and second-place teams. Should wins and losses serve as the measuring stick for determining which young athletes … Continue reading

Posted in Columns, December 2009, Issues, Parks and Rec Business, Sports Spotlight | Leave a comment