Editor's Desk - November 2010
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What's In? What's Out?

This time of year is always fun, isn't it? Feasts and get-togethers with family and friends. And in the midst of all the holiday celebrations and winding down of the current year, many of us also look forward to next year. We make resolutions, and in our work lives and sometimes our personal lives, we try to anticipate what trends we should be paying attention to. After all, some trends are here today, gone tomorrow, while others represent a growing wave.

Understanding which is which is a great challenge.

This month, we highlight trends in several areas. Whether they're passing fads or long-term changes is yet to be determined.

On the playground, and in the latest designs of playground manufacturers, there seems to be a still-growing trend toward incorporating more nature into play. And in the area of accessible play, manufacturers have been listening to those who are asking for play areas that go beyond the mobility-impaired to also invite children who have other disabilities, such as autism and more. Security and safety on the playground also continue to evolve. And while we don't touch on it in the feature story on page 14, more facilities seem to be adding themed playgrounds, whether those are castles or tree forts or UFOs.

Landscape design also has been increasingly embracing a more natural trend, and we look at some other leading-edge facilities that have adapted new trends. You can find out more on page 20.

Fitness is one of those areas where fads come and go almost as quickly as cell phone technology gets updated. This month, we take a close look at how some facilities are keeping fitness front and center without taking up a lot of space to do so. You'll find that story on page 24. And if you'd just like to know what the experts have to say about the types of workouts and other popular trends in the fitness arena, check out our News column on page 8.

So, what trends have you noticed? What do you think is a passing fad, and what's here to stay? And, what are you planning or resolving on for 2011?

Let us know at editor@recmanagement.com


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director

Feel free to drop us a line. Any feedback is great; establishing an industry forum for the open exchange of ideas is even better. So don't be shy with your thoughts, opinions and questions. Any topic is fair game, and no query is too big or too little.

What a pleasant surprise it was to see your outstanding article on inclusion in the October issue. Congratulations for bringing the issue of inclusion, and particularly "hidden disabilities" to the forefront. Having spent over 30 years as a Recreation Therapist and now as an Inclusion Manager, I certainly appreciate your emphasis on the issue.

Inclusion is not just a legal obligation, it's a moral obligation. Yes, the Americans with Disabilities Act is the legal basis for inclusion; our sense of right vs. wrong, segregation vs. integration, and discrimination vs. acceptance is our moral basis for inclusion. Every individual has the right to equal access to recreation programs, services and facilities.

As Lonny Zimmerman and John McGovern so aptly state, inclusion is not a program, but an attitude. And it's an attitude that should permeate the entire department, from top to bottom. With so many part-time staff involved in our programs, particularly staff aged 16 to 20, disability awareness training is the obvious starting point. Whether you're a large department with 10 inclusion staff or a small department with one inclusion staff, disability awareness is the crucial link to establishing and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment. In addition to inclusion staff, there are an abundance of training resources available to recreation departments. The article mentioned a few and I highly recommend the NIRI (National Institute on Recreation Inclusion) conference. In addition, two excellent resources that we've had the pleasure of working with are Kids Included Together, Inc. (www.kitonline.org) and the National Inclusion Project (www.inclusionproject.org).

If your recreation program is not providing equal opportunities to all, is not providing equal access to all, and is not including all children together side by side, it's time to change. Inclusion ... it's not just the legal thing to do, it's the right thing to do.

Jeffrey B. Paul, MA, Inclusion Manager
Bernalillo County Parks & Recreation
Albuquerque, N.M.


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