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March 2017

Study Confirms: People Pee in Pools

A doctoral student of analytical and environmental toxicology, Lindsay Blackstock, from the University of Alberta recently published findings that show people do indeed pee in public pools. Blackstock was able to determine signs of urine from trace amounts of acesulfame potassium in the water. This chemical compound is found in most artificial sweeteners.

Volunteers Get Hands-On History Experience in Virginia

Some people are fascinated by digging up the past, in a most literal sense. And in Fairfax County, Va., anyone can join the corps of volunteers who work alongside historians and county archaeologists that comprise the Fairfax County Archaeological Research Team (CART). Volunteers can work in the lab researching and cataloging archaeological finds, or get their hands in the dirt working on archaeological digs in the field—all the while learning about their county’s history.

Park Hop Inspires Park Usage

A free scavenger-hunt activity in Greenville County, S.C., called Park Hop, is helping to inspire park usage. Research in the February 2017 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy, a peer-reviewed electronic journal established by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, revealed that Park Hop helped "community-collaboration between park agencies and positively influenced park usage, park discovery, time engaged in physical activity during park visits and perceptions of parks."

National Health Campaign Reaches 228,000 Youth in Three Years

Children across the country are reaping the benefits of a national out-of-school-time initiative aimed at improving childhood nutrition and increasing physical activity through local parks and recreation. Now in its third year, The National Recreation and Park Association’s (NRPA) Commit to Health campaign, which utilizes the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards first adopted by the National AfterSchool Association, has been implemented by 1,250 park and recreation sites nationally—with an impact on more than 228,000 youth enrolled in out-of-school-time programming.

February 2017

Outdoor REC Act Signed Into Law

On Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 former President Barrack Obama signed into law the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act. Also known as H.R 4665, this new law is the capstone of recent efforts by House representatives to increase the assessment of the outdoor recreation industries contribution to the United States’ Economy.

Happy 125th B-Day B-Ball!

The first YMCA in America opened in Boston in 1851—seven years after the organization’s founding in London—with one of their original tenets being physical fitness. In 1891, Canadian James Naismith went to Springfield, Mass., to become the physical education teacher at the YMCA International Training School there. That winter, his boss—Dr. Luther Gulick—tasked him with creating an indoor game to provide an athletic distraction for his rowdy class that was confined indoors due to the harsh winter.

Study Shows Majority—Even Athletes—Are ‘Overfat’

A new study published in the Frontiers in Public Health revealed that about 76 percent of the world’s population—including athletes—are “overfat,” a condition described in the study as having sufficient excess body fat to impair health.

Gym-Goers Like YMCA Best; Planet Fitness Winning Market Share

A new study from Market Force Information found that consumers prefer their local YMCA or YWCA over all other national gym chains, and many gym-goers are planning to switch gyms in the next three months.

January 2017

Georgia State Park Celebrates Its Dark Sky Status

In December, Georgia saw one of its state parks designated as a Gold-Tier International Dark-Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. Stephen C. Foster State Park joins Big Bend National Park in Texas and Death Valley National Park in Nevada as one of the best places in the world for contemplating the cosmos.

Texas Tech Focuses on Functional Fitness

Texas Tech has introduced the Raider Escape Room, a functional training, personal training, and athletic and sports-conditioning facility.

Preventing Pool Closings

Pool closings have been an issue for parks and recreation facilities over the years, with some of the reasons for the closures being that communities have had to make budget cutbacks or have delayed necessary upgrades to their pools. But there are steps you can take to keep your pool operational.

Majority of U.S. Households Visit Attractions

A majority of U.S. households—82 percent—visited an attraction in 2015, according to new research from PGAV Destinations. The research offers insight into why some guests become members and season pass holders.