Magazine article Parks & Recreation

49 and Counting

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

49 and Counting

Article excerpt

It is not the first time, and certainly not the last, that a mother allows her young child to play alone outside. This child loves being outdoors. This child loves parks. Is this child safe?

The topic of children's safety in parks is a divisive issue these days. Stories of unsupervised kids playing in parks and parents being scrutinized for allowing such activity are thrust upon us by the media, as neighborhood associations, teachers, law enforcement officers, groups of concerned parents (on both sides of the issue) and even politicians weave in and out of this constant, burning debate. What is right and what is wrong are often parallel stories with dividing lines falling to generational and/or economic differences. Jessica Culverhouse, NRPA's senior manager of fundraising, moves this conversation front and center in her article "Parks: A Place for Play" (page 52). Culverhouse combs through the rhetorical clatter and addresses both the fear and stigmatization parents face in raising children today, and also the basic truth that every child deserves the opportunity to engage in safe play.

Our cover feature, '"No Thanks' Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Rejects Offer of Downtown East Park" by Rich Dolesh, NRPA's vice president of conservation and parks, provides a unique glimpse into the chaos surrounding the new urban park to be built adjacent to the Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Conceptual designs for the park rolled out with great fanfare, but since then plans have met with media skepticism, public opposition and even a taxpayer lawsuit. …

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