Natural Leaders Network

Boston’s Franklin Park Is Poised for $28 Million in Upgrades — and the City Wants Ideas on How to Spend the Money

The city of Boston will invest $28 million in improving its 500-acre Franklin Park, and is looking to city residents for guidance on aspects such as inclusivity and access. The park is the city’s largest outdoor space and is located in a racially diverse area of the city. The planning process for the upgrade will bring together ecologists, landscape architects, planners, and community engagement experts to build a plan for an engaging and diverse Franklin Park.

These Cities Are Addressing Inequality in Parks Access

A new report from the City Parks Alliance showcases seven U.S. cities that are leading the way in using their budgets to fund parks more equitably. As previous studies have found that city residents with lower incomes are less likely to find green space nearby in their neighborhoods, the report gives recommendations for using park funding to improve equity in city parks systems using data-driven approaches.

City of Atlanta Scores Nearly 13 Acres for a New Tree-filled Park

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.

Winter Play Campaign Aims to Get Kids Outdoors

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.

Is America Becoming an Indoor Nation? New Study Begs Question

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.

Living with Beauty: Reconnecting City Children with Nature

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.

High-rise Families Rely on Child-friendly Neighborhood

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.

Gov. Brown Task Force Proposes 30 Ways to Improve Oregon’s Outdoor Recreation

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.

Utah’s Office of Outdoor Recreation Program Grows to Expand Access to the Outdoors

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. 


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