Editor's Desk - February 2011
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Snow Days

Ah, February. Simultaneously the shortest and longest month of the year. Only 28 days on the calendar, but an eternity of end-of-winter cabin fever for most of us.

As I write, we are anticipating a blizzard. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to it. You see, while the East Coast has had a barrage of wintry weather, and even my sister down in Tennessee has been reporting in on weekly snowfall (in a place that usually only sees a dusting of snow a few times a year), here in the Chicago area, we've got snow on the ground, but it hasn't really snowed.

Which means that, even though it's February, I'm kind of happy that we're supposed to see two feet of the stuff on the ground by Wednesday.

Call me crazy, but I like my winter wintery.

If you too are expecting a snow day, and you're looking for some good reading to accompany a day-long coffee break while you wait for the weather to turn, I invite you to take your time with this issue of Recreation Management. We've got plenty of good reading for you this month.

You'll find our annual Guide to Aquatic Centers stuck in between pages 6 and 7. There's plenty of information in there to get you thinking about how to run your own watery facilities a little better. From programming a little smarter to being a little safer, there are lots of ways to improve your aquatic operations. And if you want more aquatic material to master, I'd encourage you to check out the myriad articles, research studies, online seminars and other information available through aquatic associations like the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF), at www.nspf.org.

But, if you're not ready to jump from the page to the Web yet, keep on turning pages here. We've got feature stories on a range of topics this month.

On page 12, you'll find a closer look at some of the latest updates in action sports facilities—those parks designed to get skateboarders and BMX-bikers out of the parking lot and onto ramps and plazas where they can really show off their skills. And for further reading on the topic, check out Skaters for Public Skateparks at www.skatepark.org.

On page 16 you'll find a quick guide to sports field design. While your fields might be buried in snow at the moment, there's some critical information you need to know before the season starts—especially if you're planning to build a new field.

On page 20, we continue our ongoing series on facility maintenance. This month's feature takes a closer look at the requirements of your gymnasium, from the beastly bleachers to the beautiful playing surface and beyond.

And for an intense look behind the scenes of budget management, turn to page 23, where you can find essential strategies to keep your facilities funded in tough times. The economy may be on the upswing, but many leaders in sports, recreation and fitness are still challenged to come up with the money to keep things rolling. Partnerships and smart business strategies can help.

Of course, as always, you'll also find highlights of facilities and expert opinions on these pages, as well as a closer look at the most innovative products in the industry.

So pour that cup of coffee, put your feet up and enjoy your snow day.

Me? I'm hoping to slide into my skis and head out to the trails to take advantage of this snow before it's gone. After all, it may be the longest month while you're suffering from cabin fever, but spring will be here before you know it.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director

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