Editor's Desk - April 2013
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These Are the Days

Spring's hard to come by right now. But by the time this issue is on your desk and you've flipped open to this page (hi there!), I'm hoping the season has fully arrived and is here to stay. As I write this, there's a barely-there snow going outside my window, and just a bit south of us, a fresh—thick—blanket of snow on the ground, covering up the crocuses that had just peeped through.

March is "in like a lion and out like a lamb," I've heard, but this year it seems to be lion the whole way. But we all know what April showers bring. April also brings us the very earliest stirrings of fun outside—in parks and gardens (is your community garden up and running yet?), on trails and in campgrounds. The calendar may say that spring starts in March, but it doesn't truly arrive until April … well, most years anyway. (Last year, the ticks were already abundant by this point, and we were enjoying a bountiful migration, with warblers easy to spot in trees that hadn't leafed out yet.)

April also brings celebrations galore, from April Fool's Day to Earth Day (April 22) and more. Do you have events planned for Earth Day? It's a great opportunity to engage your community in eco-friendly activities and learning—or even just to clean up your parks and sites and get them ready for the onslaught of visitors who arrive every spring.

Here are some of my personal favorite "days" of April: International Fun at Work Day (April 1, don't mind if I do!), National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day (April 2, raspberry preserves for me, thanks), Walk Around Things Day (April 4, um … OK), National Walk to Work Day (April 5, 26 miles might be a bit too far), No Housework Day (April 7, hooray!), Draw a Picture of a Bird Day (April 8), Golfer's Day (April 10, I know a few people who can hardly wait for the season to begin), Scrabble Day (April 13, don't forget to memorize all your two-tile words!), Look Up at the Sky Day and Reach as High as You Can Day (both April 14), National High Five Day (April 18, look out!), Record Store Day (April 20, we vinyl lovers appreciate this one), National Zucchini Bread Day (April 23, clever to schedule this day long before the garden's bursting with baseball-bat-sized zucchini and you've eaten all you can stand), World Penguin Day (April 25, my husband's favorite zoo animal to visit), International Astronomy Day (April 28, happy stargazing!), and Hairstyle Appreciation Day (April 30, really?). Also, the first week of the month is Read a Road Map Week, a skill I bet a lot of folks could stand to brush up on.

You know, I think there must be some silly thing to celebrate on pretty much any given day of the year. Today, let's celebrate the fact that spring is almost here, and you've got a good bit of reading in your hands. Want a tour?

Well, I'd start off with the annual Guide to Playgrounds and Park Furnishings. This year, we take a look at some of the trends in playground design, as well as the best way to approach furnishing your site. We also have a look at what's new in landscape design.

Once you've given that a read, turn to the magazine proper, where you'll find stories on splash play areas, in which we find that some of the emerging trends of the past few years are solidifying and bringing new innovations. We also discuss the ins and outs of dog parks, and have a feature that offers ideas on how to make the most out of your waterfront to build your community. Finally, our regular programming story takes you inside the performing arts programs of several park districts and YMCAs.

Whatever today is, go ahead and mark your calendar. We'll call it, Read Recreation Management Day. Hope you have a good one!

Be well,

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director