Editor's Desk - July 2014
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Let's All Go Outside!

"Want to go Outside and play?"

How many times do you think you asked that question in your lifetime? Sure, probably by the time you were 11 or 12 years old, you'd come up with a different way to pose the question, often with an assumed level of maturity. And the way we enjoy the outdoors changes as we grow up, too, from playgrounds and free-range fun to sports and skateboarding to birdwatching and beyond. But, it still means the same thing.

When I think of the great outdoors, I still think of Outside with a capital O. Almost as something sacred. Something to cherish all year long, but especially in the summer when the opportunities for fun abound.

From 4th of July festivities to picnics in the park, long hikes or rides on the trail and walks to and from the playground, summertime is filled with things to do in our nation's parks, so it's no surprise that July is Park and Recreation Month. Billed as an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of local parks and recreation, the month offers local leaders a chance to celebrate the ways they make their communities better through conservation, health and wellness, social equity and just plain fun.

America has celebrated July as the nation's official Park and Recreation Month since 1985, and the National Recreation and Park Association has tied the theme of this year's celebration in with my favorite place: Outside!

Last fall, the association asked for help choosing a theme for this year's annual recognition of the value of parks, and the people answered: OUT is IN. "This year," the NRPA reports on its site, "we are focusing on setting trends instead of following them, making 2014 the year people go outside, change their outlook, and get involved in their community through parks and recreation."

In a national survey, conducted for NRPA by Ipsos Public Affairs, which explores U.S. adults' opinions and behaviors around getting outdoor time, nearly three out of 10 (28 percent) said they don't spend time outside every day. And of those who do go outside every day, almost half spend 30 minutes or less out there.

Asked about the barriers that keep them away from the great outdoors, adults named work as the top reason, followed by screen time, whether it's spent in front of the computer, tablet or smartphone or watching television. And the problems seem to be worse, not better, when you ask younger adults. Those who are less than 35 years old were more likely to say their computer, tablet or phone is a barrier to spending time outside. More of them also saw work as a barrier.

So, what is your organization doing to get more people into the great outdoors this month? How do you combat the perceptions that keep people tied to screens and away from Outside? How is Out In for your community?

Let's all make a commitment to turn to our neighbor and ask, "Want to go Outside and play?


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management


From the Editor's Mailbox

I read your article "Surfacing 101: Find the Finest Flooring to Fit Your Facility" (April 2014). It is a great article and informative for readers. I would like to comment on the Innovation and Trends section.

The DIN (German standard) is not recognized anymore in Europe, only in Germany, and they refer now to the European Standard EN14 04.

Since 2005, AS has been working on a U.S. Standard, AS F2772, and the last version dated 2011 included four criteria: shock absorption, ball rebound, vertical deformation, and surface finish effect. The MFMA has set up a testing standard—PUR. Those performance testing are using the AS F2772-11 testing methodology. It is mostly for wood manufacturers.

The AS standards are followed and recognized by the architectural community. They do not have to rely on EN or Asian standards for facility design. Other important innovations for indoor sports flooring include: recyclability of the material, and indoor air quality.

Stephanie Leudet de la Vallee
FieldTurf/Tarkett Sports Indoor
Calhoun, Ga.