December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49

One positive benefit of the pandemic
has been that it has given families
more time to spend together outdoors,
especially visiting local parks and nearby
recreation resources.
more than a 10-minute walk from
playgrounds or have other
access
barriers, finding quality spaces for
children to play and engage in physical
activity is both a community challenge
and a matter of equity. Children in
vulnerable
communities,
Colman
emphasizes, are most at risk. There
needs to be more focus on equitable
park access generally, especially for
those that have been most burdened
by inequities. " Intentionally engaging
all community members must be part
of the conversation, " Colman says.
Moving Beyond
the Pandemic
The importance parents place on
their children's health was demonstrated
in many ways during the
pandemic. This concern is not just
the physical health of children, but
also their mental health and sense
of well-being. Nearly 9 in 10 parents
in the IPEMA survey agreed that
play is more important than ever.
Even though playgrounds have
one of the highest rates of inspection
and attention to safety of any
park spaces, the increased amount
of inspections and new protocols
for disinfecting and cleaning play
equipment have set a new standard
of attention for playgrounds.
Many park professionals see this
trend continuing. Norquist agrees
that the very high level of concern
for safety during the pandemic will
result in a net benefit for all because
there are so many more eyes
on playspaces and making parks
and playgrounds cleaner and safer.
" People are much more aware of
the conditions and safety of playgrounds
now, " he says.
Although climate change is not a
cause nor an effect that is directly related
to the pandemic, the effects of
climate change will have a considerable
impact on the design of playgrounds
and playspaces in the future.
In the West and Southwest, as
in many other areas of the country,
extreme heat is an increasing factor
inhibiting outdoor play. Shade is not
only desirable for playgrounds, but
also serves an essential need - as
children simply will not be able to
play in playgrounds during the middle
of the day without it.
The City of Phoenix has embarked
on a major test of cool
pavement surfaces in a variety
of locations throughout the city.
Jennifer Vanos, an assistant professor
in the School of Sustainability
at Arizona State University, is part
of a research team studying the
effects of the cool pavements. She
says thinking that cool pavement
surfacing will be an improvement is
an incorrect assumption. " Reflected
solar radiation when kids are
using a playground at midday may
actually make conditions worse
because the temperature is hotter
and the radiation greater since it
is also reflected from the surface. "
She says a better solution is to " renaturalize "
playgrounds and playspaces
by adding natural elements,
such as trees, vegetation and grass,
which will reduce ambient temperatures
and provide cleaner air.
The environments our children
play in are as important as the
equipment on which they
play.
Shade, clean water, clean air and
safe places to play were a legacy
left to adults, and they must be a
part of the legacy we leave to the
next generations. COVID-19 is, at
the same time, a test of our capability
to weather the challenges of
the pandemic and a call to action
to learn from the challenge and
pass on that knowledge gained to
generations that follow ours.
The response to the pandemic by
park and recreation agencies in service
to the public is well documented and
explained in NRPA's extensive report,
COVID-19 and Parks and Recreation:
Response and Recovery
(nrpa.org/Coronavirus).
Richard Dolesh is NRPA's retired Vice President of Strategic
Initiatives and Editor-at-Large for Parks & Recreation magazine
(dolesh@gmail.com).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | DECEMBER 2 0 2 1
| Parks & Recreation
49
http://www.nrpa.org/Coronavirus

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 32
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 44
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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