Category Archives: November 2013

Missed Opportunities

Bobby mowed grass for the park system throughout high school. And after just one semester of community college, he stopped by the field office on the way home and asked if he could be hired full-time. He loved his summers on the mower, loved working outside, and didn’t really feel he was college material anyway. After a few months and a polished resume, Bobby got his wish. At age 19 he was a full-time employee of the park system. But … Continue reading

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From Grazing To Gazing

When parents and caregivers asked for a nature program for small children, staff at For-Mar created “Knee-High Naturalists” for little ones 3 to 6 years old. Photos Courtesy Of Genesee County Parks, Flint, Mi.

Fifty years ago, Forbes and Martha Merkley ran a successful dairy farm just a few minutes east of downtown Flint, Mich. It was a magnificent spread of land, a gently rolling landscape with open meadows, mature forests, wetlands, and ponds. In the 1960s GeneseeCounty commissioners were looking for property to convert to parkland, and the Merkleys were making plans to retire. It was the perfect partnership. The Merkleys donated 383 acres to the county with instructions for its development; the … Continue reading

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Horn of Plenty — Publisher’s Note

Before my infernal bird-chirping, ocean wave-crashing alarm rang, my wife jumped out of bed to make sure the kid’s bathroom door was locked tight against the possible incursion by my youngest daughter. The 6-year-old was scheduled for foot surgery and was not allowed to have anything to drink or eat prior to the operation. My wife was convinced she would forget—drink a glass of water and then the whole thing would have to be rescheduled. With a thud, I heard … Continue reading

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LBWA — Indoor Court Surfaces

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

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Purposeful Preservation

A collaborative effort by more than 20 national, regional, and local organizations provided enough labor and funding to restore a 29-acre preserve within the city of Gainesville, Ga. Through private and public efforts, the Redbud Project established a native plant preserve for environmental study and public recreation in the city’s Linwood Nature Preserve. It serves as an open-air classroom for those seeking to learn about environmental conservation for soil-erosion control, stormwater runoff, wetlands restoration, climate control and energy conservation. The … Continue reading

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