Transitions & Routines

"By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather
And autumn's best of cheer."
   — Helen Hunt Jackson

It's that time of year again. School buses are rolling down the street. The crickets and locusts are turning quiet nights into symphonies of bug noise. Nights are suddenly cool enough that I need to grab a flannel in the morning while I drink my coffee. And while making the drive up to the office today, I passed a cemetery where all the maple trees have already started to exchange their greens for bright oranges and yellows. The garden is full of tomatoes and peppers and every kind of good thing, but it won't be long before it's sleeping under a blanket of fallen leaves and snow.

At this time of year, even in our busy go-go world, many of us are settling into new routines and adapting to the transition from summer to fall.

Surely, this is also true of your recreation centers, sports fields, fitness facilities, aquatic centers, campgrounds and other places where people come together for fun and fitness, for sports and recreation. In northern latitudes, it's time to close down the outdoor swimming pools and light up the football field for Friday night games. And, as kids settle into a new school year, there are new programs and new schedules at parks, YMCAs and other related facilities across the country.

As you settle into your own routines and adapt to the seasonal transitions, we've got plenty of good reading to keep you occupied. This month, we're looking at some of the latest innovations in shelters and shade structures, from sails that both protect from the sun and provide aesthetic appeal to creative solutions like two-story shelters and more (see page 16). From there, we stay in the park to take a look at the growing appeal of outdoor fitness areas, which are giving community members across the country new ways to get fit in the great outdoors (see page 24). In this issue, we also cover some of the latest in sports lighting and scoreboards (page 30), as well as best practices in grounds maintenance (page 36). And, of course, as usual we bring you an overview of some of the latest product innovations that will help keep your facility ahead of the pack, along with expert columns on aquatics, splash play and more.

On top of all that, we continue to bring you news, expert advice and profiles of cool facilities through our newsletters and website. If you run out of things to read in this issue, just head on over to and you'll find no shortage of topics that are sure to keep you engaged for hours.

So grab your flannel and your cup of coffee and settle in. You can't stop time, but you can make the most of it.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]