Get Ready

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”

— Doug Larson, journalist


We’ve got a week left of February as I sit down to write this, and yet yesterday, walking around in my yard, I noticed the winter aconite is already in bloom.

If you’re not familiar (and it seems a lot of folks aren’t), winter aconite is a bright, yellow, low-to-the-ground flower that opens at the same time as the better-known snowdrop. It naturalizes in a similar way to crocuses and daffodils, but usually pops into bloom at least a month before those perennial signs of spring.

When I first moved into my house and started working in the yard, I accidentally uprooted a whole lot of aconite, and threw it into one of my compost bins. Then a tree limb fell on the compost bin, and I left it there for a while. By the time I finally got around to “straightening things back up” in that corner of the yard, the winter aconite had taken over. It blooms in a happy drift of sunshine yellow that I can see from my desk. It is the earliest obvious sign of spring around here, along with the other-worldly sound of sandhill cranes flying over, which usually happens around the same time.

All of that is just to say, spring is nearly upon us. Are you ready?

While lots of recreation, sports and fitness facilities are open and busy year-round, a good portion of you readers see the vast majority of your activity during the warmer months of the year. And so you need to prepare for the coming season by making sure your swimming pools are in working order and stocked with supplies, by cleaning up your park sites and sprucing up furnishings and other amenities, by examining your sports fields and making amendments where needed.

Whatever your facility type, there’s a long list of to-dos that happen in the springtime. But of course, spring can be fickle. That pleasant today that invites you outdoors to work on your sites, sports fields, furnishings and more can quickly change its mind. Here’s your fallback for when the clouds converge and rain (or snow, heavens no!) starts to fall again: This issue is chock full of information and innovation you can deploy at your own facilities. We’ve got feature stories looking at waterfronts, esports and locker rooms, and if you flip the book, you’ll find our annual Guide to Playgrounds and Park Furnishings.

So, get ready! And when the weather warms, get out there and get going. But when it turns, kick up your feet and get reading.



Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management

[email protected]



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