Editor's Desk - April 2008
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Invitation to the Great Outdoors

e all know that it's imperative to get more Americans outside and active. We also know that our public parks and open spaces offer the perfect opportunity for people to engage with each other—and engage their bodies in a little healthy activity.

In public parks, gardens and other open spaces, you'll find everything from families coming together for a picnic to parents coming together to watch their kids play soccer. You'll find a community gathered around a big screen to watch a movie in the park, or gathered around a series of booths to purchase produce from local farmers. You'll find kids swinging, sliding and running around on the playground, and teens skating, playing ball and climbing boulders. You'll find runners, walkers, bikers and exercisers of all kinds. And what's more—most of these activities are either free to the community, or available at a very low price, compared to other pastimes. (Anyone been to a movie theater lately?)

In this special supplement, we look at the ways you can ensure your public space draws people in. From playgrounds that excite children of all ages to beautiful landscape designs with a nod toward challenges that inspire a bit of eco-friendliness, from giving people a beautiful view to giving people a place to sit, there are many necessary steps to make a park that works as a community or regional draw.

As spring gets in full swing, we hope you'll learn something on these pages that you can apply to your own spaces to draw your public to get active, get involved and have a little bit of fun!


Emily Tipping