Leaders of government agencies too frequently stifle innovation by requiring more validation than necessary for new ideas and then overcommitting resources once an innovation has proven worthwhile, writes Alan Pentz. Government leaders should determine what constitutes success and then set key performance indicators and milestones for projects to encourage better manage innovation, he says.
The National Recreation and Park Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have awarded Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation in Virginia a Fit and Strong! grant to create low-impact exercise programs for older residents who have flexibility problems. The Fit and Strong! classes will be woven into the 50 and Wiser program already offered by the city.
Officials in Oakland County, Mich., are spending $5.8 million on improvements to the county's public radio-communications system, OakWIN. Consoles, radio towers and other equipment that has nearly reached the end of its 15-year lifespan will be replaced, says Deputy County Executive Bob Daddow.
Owensboro, Ky., resident Nate Pagan will take on the role of assistant city manager. A city commission will need to approve the selection of Davies, along with the selection of recently promoted City Attorney Steve Lynn.
National Recreation and Park Association President and CEO Barbara Tulipane noted the health benefits of having parks nearby and that Amazon's proposal for a second headquarters emphasized the outdoors and recreational opportunities. She urged cities to pledge to make parks and green space accessible to all residents within a 10-minute walk.
Green design could save cities money as well as improve public health, according to a report by environmental consulting firm Capital E. The Delivering Urban Resilience report studied three cities, finding that expanded tree cover and making surfaces cooler were two ways to save money and benefit residents.
San Francisco's Helen Diller Civic Center Playground has reopened after a yearlong $10 million renovation. The playground now has a weather and nature theme and features new light installations and play structures.
The city of El Paso, Texas, and other organizations are working on an active transportation system for a stretch of canal that would help stormwater and flood management while providing a space for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Keller, Texas, Parks and Recreation is adding more activities for residents with special needs through its "A Sense of Adventure" program. Events include a fun run, sensory egg hunt and a monthly period where parks are reserved solely for such residents.
A plan by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to raise entrance fees at national parks would limit public access and could hurt attendance, argue Sierra Club official Jackie Ostfeld and Kyle Simpson of the National Recreation and Park Association. "The bottom line is that fewer visitors mean less revenue generation for park maintenance, the administration's stated purpose for raising fees in the first place, and will also negatively impact the communities surrounding our national parks," they write.
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