Posted on November 24, 2015 by timherd
While Pennsylvania’s hills and valleys are renowned for its forests and farms, its natural assets and beauties, and its rural character and charms, 84 percent of its citizens live in urban areas: the Commonwealth has 53 cities and 30 boroughs with populations greater than 10,000.
Emerald View Park (Photo credit: Brian Cohen)
Today’s workers have many choices about where they live, and they are actively choosing to settle in vibrant urban centers that support their needs. Many in the creative industries, knowledge workers, young people, families and retirees are all choosing urban areas that offer a strong economic base and amenities that add to their quality of life. It is increasingly clear that livable communities that can attract and retain highly skilled workers will be winners in the global economy.
One of the most important features of an attractive, vibrant urban area is an engaging park system. Supporting the economy, public health, environment, workforce development, and education, park and recreation services are also one of the most important factors contributing to the satisfaction and happiness of citizens in their communities—second only to faith-based institutions. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, funding, green infrastructure, health, maintenance/management, partnerships, programming | Tagged: Pennsylvania, urban parks alliance | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 12, 2015 by Kathy Blaha
Involving citizens and communities in the process of managing city parks may represent a new way of doing business for public park agencies, but it is an increasing necessity to have a constituency that supports and advocates for what the agency does. How a parks department is organized to accept and use different kinds of resources – including funding and volunteer support – will require unprecedented collaboration between the networks of public, private, and philanthropic actors, with a strong community base. Cities across the U.S. are coming to understand this, and so are some of our neighbors to the north.
In 2011, Peter Harnik at the Center for City Park Excellence suggested to Dave Harvey that he “throw everyone into a room” to talk about the need and value of a park partnership organization in Toronto. And he did. Representatives from 25-year old friends groups met newer friends of the parks’ groups and none knew of the existence of the others. As one person noted, “I’ve been working for years on my parks friends group and you are the first person to call and offer help.” The first meeting offered an opportunity for a wealth of pent-up sharing that turned into Toronto’s Park People. Continue reading
Filed under: funding, green infrastructure, international, partnerships, programming | Tagged: alliances, Green Line, Kathy Blaha, Park People, study tour, Toronto | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 14, 2015 by Angelina Horn
By Yvette Bowden, Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Boulder
Welcome to Boulder, a lively town nestled at 5,430 feet against the scenic backdrop of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Front Range. Our town is famed for its active lifestyle, 300+ days of sunshine a year, and an entrepreneurial spirit, crowning the quaint cityscape as America’s Startup Capital and among the nation’s “Best Places to Live”. Boulder’s unparalleled quality of life is at the core of our department’s commitment to cultivating a long-term vision for our community’s future, health, and well being – including our neighbors, the bees.
Honeybees have been around for millions of years and they have incredible abilities. Bee brains can defy time and bees have different personalities. They also play an important function in our environment. A third of our national food production depends on bee pollination. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that honeybees pollinate 80% of the country’s crops. However, the national honeybee population is in steep decline. Continue reading
Filed under: health, maintenance/management, programming | Tagged: Boulder, Colorado, landscaping, pesticides, urban bees, Yvette Bowden | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 28, 2015 by Angelina Horn
Each month, City Parks Alliance names one “Frontline Park” as a standout example of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship from across the country. The program identifies city parks that find innovative ways to meet the unique challenges faced as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures and urban neighborhood decay. In recognition of its partnerships and community engagement, the Philly Pumptrack has been named a Frontline Park.
The Pumptrack is located in historic Fairmount Park, the heart of Philadelphia’s park system. Although it is well-loved and boasts a healthy number of visitors, the park’s design (or lack thereof) has created some issues with programming and accessibility. Some areas have no amenities at all, and others become degraded due to misuse. Where Fairmount wings into the West Parkside neighborhood, the area was used as an illegal dumping ground, and more than a playground would be required to attract local residents and community investment. Continue reading
Filed under: crime & safety, funding, health, partnerships, programming, transportation | Tagged: bikes, Fairmount Park, Frontline Parks, philadelphia, Philly Pumptrack | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 11, 2015 by Angelina Horn
Each month, City Parks Alliance names one “Frontline Park” as a standout example of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship from across the country. The program identifies city parks that find innovative ways to meet the unique challenges faced as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures and urban neighborhood decay. In recognition of its partnerships and community capacity building, Mestizo-Curtis Park has been named a Frontline Park.
Built in 1868, Mestizo-Curtis Park is the oldest park in the city of Denver, boasting mature trees, aged red sandstone paths, and some of the best views of the city’s skyline. Located in a district close to downtown and other commercial corridors, the park has grown and changed with Denver, hosting everything from the city’s first playground to massive political rallies. In 1998, the word Mestizo (“a mix of cultures”) was added to the name in order to better reflect the diversity of the surrounding neighborhood.
Filed under: crime & safety, facilities, funding, partnerships, programming, renewal | Tagged: denver, Five Points, Frontline Parks, Mestizo-Curtis Park, TPL | Leave a comment »