Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Natural Environment of a Park is not enough to attract...

 I was visiting Manhattan's Union Square Park , I talked to a youth there who told me, “there's benches for the seniors  and a playground for the little kids but nothing for us.”  

As it turns out though the seniors and kids are getting some of their needs met, they are being shortchanged too...

 According to the  authors of the book People Places  "The natural environment of a park is not enough to attract some elderly users, but a park with many activity programs can simulate social exchange and create a sense of belonging."

As for kids..."Elaborate jungle gyms and twisty slides sure are fun, but they may not give your child the most well-rounded "workout." A recent study of daycare-center playgrounds found that when kids had access to items like balls, hula hoops, and jump ropes, they were more active than when they had only stationary structures to play on. "

Typical playground equipment does help develop certain motor skills, like climbing," says study coauthor Dianne Ward, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "But kids play harder and longer when they have more portable playthings around." link

 Lack of activities offerings diminish park usage  for many segments of our population, especially special needs folks.    Our parks do not have to be this way. 

It doesn't have to be this way. Below are links to several ideas  that would allow Union Square Park and other parks go from nothing for us parks to something for everyone parks.

Partnering Parks and Libraries
Having Fun Without Food in Public Spaces