Editor's Desk - February 2013
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Thinking Warm Thoughts

Ah, February. Simultaneously the shortest and longest month of the year. Shortest in number of days, sure, but waiting (and waiting) for winter to loosen its clutches, for the sun to rise higher in the sky and for days to grow a bit warmer makes it seem a long time from Groundhog Day to the 28th.

Around here, though, we've been waiting (and waiting) for winter to arrive. Not that it hasn't gotten cold, but until this past week, it hadn't been properly cold. And there's still no real snow to speak of. So far, we're running a repeat of last year, when the cross-country skis and the sleds collected dust, and we got an early start on the gardening.

Speaking of gardening, now that the temperatures have hit single digits and we're all stuck inside, I've turned to that old standby of cabin fever relief: the garden catalogs. Do you get them too?

Seems every December-into-January, the mailbox blooms with, well, blooms. And vegetables. And fruits. And all kinds of ideas for the garden. And so, one of my favorite winter pastimes, when the weather keeps me indoors, is to thumb through the pages and create grand plans (mostly plans that can never be achieved in the short time I have to devote to my wee garden each year).

Planning and dreaming—the stuff winter's coldest days are made of.

How about you? Does winter put the kibosh on your pursuits and lead to glazed-eye daydreaming? Or do you still have just as much to do? Or maybe, you don't have as much to do, but still enough to keep you busy?

Well, if you're looking to dream and plan for the coming warmer seasons, be sure to read this issue carefully. Whether you want to gear up your aquatic facility or fine-tune your natural and synthetic turf fields, or if you're looking for some new ideas for your fitness facility or special events, we've got you covered with ideas, innovations and success stories you can learn from.

You can start by pulling out our handy Guide to Aquatic Centers. In these pages, we cover everything from design and programming through safety and new standards. It's sure to get you up to speed on the most current trends in aquatics.

Then, you can turn your attention to this issue, beginning with our consideration of sports fields on page 12. This year, we've turned away from the either-or debate between natural and synthetic, and are looking at the both-and approach. For many facilities, a combination of both field types fits the bill. On page 20, we offer some insight into fitness facility design—especially taking into account those tools of the trade that will help attract members and keep them coming back for more. And on page 26, we take a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the most successful special events being run across the country.

And, as always, we've got expert advice, profiles of new facilities and a look at some of the most impressive product innovations that can help meet your facilities' needs.

So, take a minute—or a day—and spend some time reading, daydreaming and planning for what the spring and summer have in store at your recreation, sports and fitness facilities.

Be well,

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management