Signs of Spring

Pulling into the driveway yesterday (Feb. 23) as the sun was starting to fall, I saw some little flashes of yellow out of the corner of my eye. It seems early, but the last week of February is actually pretty typical for the first emergence of the winter aconite that grows in little patches throughout my yard. These that grow in the narrow path between the house and garage are always first. Winter aconite doesn't seem to be on many people's must-plant! lists anymore, but it's a wonderful classic, with its happy yellow color and earliest emergence. (It usually beats the crocuses and snowdrops by at least a couple of weeks.)

So, with spring just around the corner, it's time to turn our attention to spring things and the coming summer season, with its baseball and soccer and swimming and festivals and all the other fun that makes this a busy season for outdoor recreation in parks and campgrounds and other facilities.

As usual, we've got a lineup of stories to help you get your season off on the right foot.

First off, on page 16 we take a look at how community leaders and manufacturers alike are doing the research needed to ensure ever-more-inclusive play spaces. As you turn your thoughts toward getting more kids outdoors and active this season, how are you ensuring that the places set aside for play offer a chance for everyone to reap the benefits?

On page 22, we offer an expert examination of protecting the public from dangerous weather. As the stormy season, with its potential for lightning strikes, gets under way, what are you doing to ensure that you protect the people using your parks and attending your events?

On page 26, we turn the spotlight on all the ways communities are learning to make the most of their waterfronts, from rivers that traverse communities to reclaimed quarries, lakefronts and more. If you have water, are you taking advantage of it as a natural draw that can grow recreation opportunities and revenues? Are you doing that in a socially equitable and sustainable way?

On page 32, we take a tour of the latest in locker rooms, providing insight from designers on how to ensure these spaces don't turn off your patrons. Are your locker rooms clean, safe and aesthetically pleasing, or are they keeping people away?

If you're gearing up for the swimming season, you've probably got a long list of to-dos. If outfitting and upgrading your pool is on that list, turn to page 36 to find some of the latest and greatest products and services that will help you ensure your aquatic facility is up to date. If you've got your eye on reducing costs and using fewer resources, get more details by turning to page 8.

And finally, as if that weren't enough, you can click over to to find even more ideas to get your facility ready for spring, with a closer look at protecting yourself from liability when you take exercise classes outdoors, as well as a roundup of some trendy, family-friendly park activities to consider adding to your lineup.

It's almost here! Happy Spring!


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]