Thomas Cully Park will open June 30 in Portland, Ore., on the site of what was once a landfill. The 25-acre park includes an off-leash area for dogs, a playground, tribal gathering site, sports fields and walking paths.
A 69-valve splash pad has opened at Lincoln Park in San Antonio. The facility is part of a redevelopment project that will soon include new play areas, a pavilion and walking and trail paths.
Commissioners in Hamilton County, Tenn., voted to accept a donation of land for eventual development as an outdoor recreation area. The county would absorb maintenance costs.
Cities should focus on creating smaller parks and playgrounds that are easily accessible to neighborhoods, argue architecture critic Alexandra Lange and others. "Perhaps uniquely, a child-friendly approach has the potential to unite a range of progressive agendas -- including health and well-being, sustainability, resilience and safety -- and to act as a catalyst for urban innovation," says a report by consultancy Arup.
A court case in California shows how local laws on a park's purpose can affect the use of public parkland. In Don't Cell Our Parks v. City of San Diego, a court found that the city could issue a permit for a wireless telecommunications facility on park grounds because it did not interfere with park uses and would, in fact, benefit park visitors.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments this fall about a case involving land in Louisiana that the federal Fish and Wildlife Service designated as a critical habitat for the endangered dusky gopher frog, which hasn't been seen in the state since the 1960s.
Officials in Washington state's North Olympic Peninsula have begun discussions on a plan to build a regional dispatch center that would serve both Clallam and Jefferson counties.
"We're having a hard time justifying spending so much money on so many disparate systems when it would really make sense to start bringing those together and formulating some actual plans," said Karl Hatton, regional emergency communications director.
A study of the 9-1-1 procedures in Loudoun County found callers transferred to the Leesburg, Va., police department have to answer the same questions again, and it recommends employing universal call takers to dispatch all calls. The Leesburg police chief and the Loudoun sheriff oppose the idea, with the sheriff calling it an issue of accountability.
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