Storm surges in Galveston Bay, Texas, threaten economic and ecological disaster, but it's possible that a coastal-protection effort could also create parkland and offer residential recreation opportunities, Renee Reder writes. "Considering the risk of a disaster in the bay without any action, it is equally important to understand what a proposal for the bay could produce for the community," Reder writes.
A lack of trained volunteers and increased knowledge requirements is making it increasingly difficult for fire departments to recruit young talent, say McHenry County, Ill., fire officials. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that many young people move frequently.
County Commissioner Scott McInnis of Mesa County, Colo., is considering a public safety sales tax that would provide increased funding for the offices of the sheriff and district attorney. The county budget would increase spending for the sheriff's office by $1.4 million and the DA's office by $400,000.
Officials in Sheffield, England, are working with local contractors to redevelop run-down areas of the city with low-cost housing for sale or rent. The project aims to tackle the country's housing crisis by sharing the issues of risk and low land value with builders.
San Luis Obispo County Planning and Building Director James Bergman will take over as city manager in Arroyo Grande, Calif., once his contract is approved by City Council members.
The Denver Parks and Recreation Department is shifting from traditional playgrounds to natural play areas that feature logs and boulders. Gordon Robertson, director of park planning, says the shift is due to studies suggesting children enjoy natural play areas more.
Massachusetts nonprofit Trustees of Reservations has five potential sites for a waterfront park in Boston and has landscape architects working on design concepts to present to the public. The nonprofit would have to purchase any such site.
The Science Playground at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton, Fla., has reopened after rotted wooden structures were replaced and the jungle gym redesigned to make it more accessible to those with disabilities. Other amenities include a dinosaur fossil dig site, a path shaped like a DNA strand, a xylophone station and a misting area.
This article shares recent parks and recreation developments in Georgia and commentary about the benefits of green space. When cities added recreation opportunities to waterways, for instance, "it has affected not only their own citizens in terms of quality of life but also helped attract businesses and young professionals," said Steve Card, parks and recreation director in Dalton, Ga.
Tearing down dams is one way to improve water quality, restore watershed and add parkland, according to environmental experts. But dam removal is expensive, and federal support may be threatened by budget cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency.
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