Larger green spaces may be critical to a city, as they can support more complete ecosystems. In contrast to smaller "parklets," large parks paired with high-density neighborhoods allow for healthier cities.Read More
Poor neighborhoods in the United States lack quality play spaces for children, also known as play deserts. An organization is enabling communities across the nation to build their own playground.Read More
Great minds from Plato to Piaget have recognized the importance of play in healthy child development, but with bullying becoming more prevalent on school playgrounds and increased pressure to maximize school hours to boost performance on standardized tests, schools are struggling to implement meaningful recess. Playworks and other similar non-profit groups provide coaching for adults on how to help structure children's playtime to be healthy, productive, and enjoyable, while allowing children to explore on their own and develop positive relationships.Read More
Obesity is at an all-time high in the United States, and is hard to combat. But urban obesity can be countered with inviting streets to stroll, dramatic staircases to climb, parks to exercise in - it’s called “active design.”Read More
Despite strong evidence that school-based physical activity improves children’s cognitive skills, concentration, and behavior, schools under pressure to produce quantitative results and decrease bullying have drastically cut back on recess in recent years. An Oakland-based nonprofit organization called Playworks is working to make healthy play accessible for more children and show schools how productive recess can be to the whole academic world.Read More
Playgrounds that are accessible for children with special needs can be difficult to find. NPR launched a national crowd-sourced guide called Playgrounds for Everyone, which invited individuals to add playgrounds that are accessible. After the launch, nearly 400 playgrounds have been added to the already 1200 playgrounds on the map that will help families find public places for their children to play.Read More
Even though natural parks are in close proximity to New York City’s metropolitan hub, many are inaccessible and overlooked areas for recreation and sport. Conservation groups, including the Natural Areas Conservancy and the Bronx River Alliance, have worked to restore trails, offer tour opportunities, and protect parks' natural geography, benefitting millions of New Yorkers’ mental and physical health.Read More
At the vanguard of initiatives to increase diversity among visitors to the National Parks are groups like Oakland, CA-based H.E.A.T.—Hiking Every Available Trail -- which uses social media and group park expeditions to increase minority groups' awareness, use, trust and enjoyment of the outdoors. Emerging alongside changes in policy—such as the Park Services' creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Office—, HEAT demonstrates how local organizers in minority and, often, urban regions around the U.S. are moving the presence of diversity at National Parks from rarity to normality, with studies and polls revealing the positive changes in attendance and interest.Read More
HortPark is a pilot for a therapeutic garden in Singapore that aims to help the aging population through horticultural training. Horticultural work has facilitated overcoming some of the elders' diseases such as dementia and mental illness, as well as an improvement to their well-being.Read More
Gabler Creek is located at the edges of Queens New York and its natural habitat has been saved from developers through the work of community organizations. Generations of volunteers have turned what could have been an industrial wasteland into a healthy marsh and park.Read More
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