January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 47

could reduce the noise factor by paddles
and balls by up to 50 percent. He
has called a community meeting for
all to express their concerns.
Cricket Explodes
In the North Texas city of Allen,
assistant recreation supervisor Greg
Dunn says they are trying to meet
the needs of the community, especially
the rapidly growing Southeast
Asian population, which has
nearly doubled in just a few years.
The surging popularity of cricket
has made cricket one of the most
popular sports in the region and
led nearby Grand Prairie, Texas, to
approve a long-term lease with Major
League Cricket to redevelop the
former Airhogs baseball stadium
into a 7,200-person capacity cricket-specific
stadium that opened this
year. " Youth cricket is taking off in
the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well, "
says Dunn, citing the example of
the Crown Cricket Academy. " We
have made a huge push to be more
inclusive in parks and recreation. I
took the NRPA Equity in Practice
course earlier this year, and I try
to include the principles from that
course in all that I do. "
Recreation Programs
That Are Hot in 2024
Family engagement nights, seasonal
festivals, fitness programming, holiday
karaoke, " eldertainment, " games
and activities for " kidults, " and partnerships
with libraries are all hot
program trends for 2024, according
to observations from park and recreation
staff around the country. The
growth of new seasonal programming
and festivals leading to the hiring
of more part-time program staff
is a strong trendline as well, said a
group of park and recreation staff at
a recent Virginia Park and Recreation
Society trends discussion.
Communities Going to the
Dogs...Willingly
Dog ownership surged during the
pandemic and now comprises 45
percent of all families. Eighty-five
percent of dog-owning families consider
their dogs to be members of the
family, according to a Forbes Advisor
survey, and dog owners make
" professional, financial and lifestyle
choices " for their dogs. Dog parks
remain the fastest-growing type of
park and off-leash dog parks are the
fastest-growing type of dog park.
Even so, says Beth Miller, CEO of
Wagtown, a national group that advocates
for responsible dog-friendly
people and communities, their survey
of park and recreation leaders
showed that " the top three barriers
to great dog park experiences are
available land, financial support
and subject matter expertise. "
Quick Takes
Robot Dogs
Older adults, are you ready to take
your robot dog for a walk in the
park? This is not so far-fetched. A
Hasbro-affiliated company,
called
Ageless Innovation, is doing a brisk
business in selling animatronic dogs
and cats to this consumer demographic
who, from the company's
promo video, are agog over how cute
they are. Get ready for older adults
in
their
micromobility
motorized
four-wheelers taking their robot dogs
out for an excursion on your trails.
A Talking, Self-Cleaning
Public Restroom
Providing clean, safe and sanitary
restrooms for the public has been
a monumental challenge for public
parks, especially in dense urban areas
or in isolated urban parks without
staff supervision. Self-cleaning
toilets of various types have been
used in Europe and Asia for decades,
but they are now appearing
in U.S. urban parks. An all-weather,
self-cleaning toilet graced by public
art was installed in Heartside Park
in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this
past spring. A voice message warns
patrons when their time is up, and a
sensor ensures that no lingerers will
get a human car wash. Disinfectant
spray washes all surfaces, and
a self-locking door prevents entry
during the periodic cleaning cycle.
Self-cleaning toilets are not inexpensive,
however, costing from
$100,000 up to $500,000 for a multiple
unit, but in certain urban locations
they may be a great choice for public
restrooms. " The best thing about it is
to have all the usage data, " says Karie
Enriquez, professional engineer and
project manager for this installation.
" It has been a big learning curve for
us, learning the programming of the
unit, but overall, it has been a positive
experience, " explains Enriquez.
An Elegant Meal in the Park
Drone-delivered
pizza and beer
in parks? So passé. A study in the
Journal of Open Innovation, Technology,
Market and Complexity surveyed
potential customers about drone
delivery of higher-end restaurant
fare. The food service industry
is energized by the idea of much
more rapid delivery of prepared
meals delivered anywhere, and
potential customers love the idea
of on-time delivery of piping hot
meals to remote locations. Are you
ready for drone-delivered candlelight
dinners at overlooks, beaches
and Instagram-worthy locations in
your parks? Prepare to capitalize
on this trend. It won't be long in
coming.
Richard J. 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 | J ANUAR Y 2 0 2 4 | Parks & Recreation
47

January 2024 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2024 - Parks & Recreation

January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 1
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 2
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 3
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 4
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 5
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 6
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 7
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 8
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 9
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 10
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 11
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 12
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 13
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 14
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 15
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 16
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 17
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 18
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 19
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 20
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 21
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 22
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 23
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 24
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 25
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 26
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 27
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 28
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 29
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 30
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January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 34
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 35
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 36
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 37
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 38
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 39
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 40
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January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 44
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 45
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 46
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 47
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 48
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 49
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 50
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 51
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 52
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 53
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 54
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 55
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 56
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
January 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
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
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