The city of Atlanta has taken a step closer to its commitment to providing all residents with green and equitable space with the recent acquisition of nearly 13 acres of green space intended to become a new park. Officials say it’s one of the largest acquisitions of green space ever in Southwest Atlanta. While Atlanta claims abundant green space, some areas of the city are deficient in public parkland.
The Association of Play Industries (API) has launched a new initiative aimed at getting children outdoors and using public playgrounds over the winter. The new initiative builds on the API’s “Play Must Stay” campaign, which has shown that parents are becoming increasingly concerned with the steep decline in public playgrounds.
People in the US are spending less time outdoors, according to a new 2019 Outdoor Foundation study, with children participating in 15 percent fewer outdoor activities in 2018 than they did six years before. The study found that nearly half of the US population does not participate in any outdoor recreation, with only 17.9 percent heading outdoors out at least once a week in 2018. The study suggests barriers like work, technology, and cost of entry prevent individuals from playing outside.
Two million trees may be planted in UK cities and towns under a new development and planning framework that calls for a ‘fast track for beauty.’ An independent commission set up to advise the UK government on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new homes and neighborhoods made the recommendation in a new report. One of the suggestions the report makes is the planting of ‘one fruit tree per house’ as well as the introduction of orchards in cities and urban areas to reconnect children with nature and their food.
A research team recently looked at the needs of apartment-dwelling families in Australia, finding that such families have an even greater need for local nature due to limited and confining space within apartment complexes. The researchers point out that, as the number of families living in apartments continues to increase, apartment housing is not meeting the needs of Australian families.
A new draft report from the Oregon Governor’s Task Force on the Outdoors recommends efforts to reach out to minority groups about outdoor recreation and make state parks more accessible to people with disabilities. To encourage more diversity, the report proposes minority communities should have a hand in land management planning as well as hiring more diverse people in state agencies. Other recommendations included creating a unified Oregon Outdoors Pass that would replace multiple existing passes.
Over the last five years, Utah’s Outdoor Recreation Grant program has invested approximately $10 million into 155 projects across the state, dedicating even more resources toward the program. Created to help communities around the state fund outdoor recreation infrastructure to help drive tourism, the program has funded the construction of new hiking and mountain biking trails, campsites, boat ramps, multi-use paved paths and much more.
A massive decline in mainly urban playgrounds across the UK led the Association of Play Industries (API) to warn the country’s political leaders that they must take measures to reverse this trend, which contributes to the ‘inactivity crisis’ among children. API representatives say the massive decline in public playgrounds is a public health issue and that, unless these playgrounds are reinstated and a commitment made to protect community playgrounds, children will continue to stay indoors on their screens at great cost to their physical and mental health.