Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

December 2021


Schoolyard Playground Program Earns ASLA Olmsted Medal

Instituted in 1990 to recognize individuals, organizations, agencies and programs outside the profession of landscape architecture for environmental leadership, vision and stewardship, the American Society of Landscape Architects' Olmsted Medal was recently awarded to the Trust for Public Land's New York City Playgrounds Program. Program Director Mary Alice Lee received the Olmsted Medal on behalf of The Trust for Public Land, the second time that the organization's work has been recognized with the prestigious award.

"This medal is a testament to the strength and impact of our longest standing Community Schoolyard program and underscores our commitment to bring new, vibrant green space across New York City and across the country," Lee said. "New York City has been the model for our playgrounds work for nearly 25 years, and we're proud of the collaboration and community engagement we've been able to implement in our design process, ensuring residents have a voice in creating these spaces."

In the past two years, The Trust for Public Land has opened 10 new schoolyard spaces across the city, providing critical new park space to 239,240 residents, just when people needed help and relief from COVID through safe social spaces in their neighborhoods the most. These new sites brought the number of community schoolyards built by The Trust for Public Land in NYC up to 218, and over 25 years the organization has guided thousands of students and parents to make the most of their schoolyards.

The playgrounds not only provide access to outdoor recreation, they also include green infrastructure design elements like permeable pavers to capture millions of gallons of stormwater each year, helping to reduce neighborhood flooding and improve the health of nearby waterways. New research from The Trust for Public Land shows that open access to all public schoolyards across the country during non-school hours would put a park within a 10-minute walk of more than 19.6 million people, including 5.2 million children, who currently lack access.

Nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has transformed more than 300 underused schoolyards into nature-rich parks designed to address inequities in education, health and climate impacts. Each community schoolyard transformation includes agreements between a school district and other local agencies to allow the community to use the space when school is closed.

As part of its NYC Park Equity Plan, The Trust for Public Land is planning to build 100 more in neighborhoods that have crowded parks. TPL data shows communities of color have 33.5% less park space per person within a 10-minute walk compared to white communities. These neighborhoods not only need more parks, but also should have access to smartly designed open spaces through transformation of schoolyards, vacant lots and other public lands.


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Rails-to-Trails Grant Invest in Equitable Trail Access - December 2021

Aquatic Groups to Co-Locate Conferences to Expand Reach - November 2021

New SFIA Report Tracks Changes in Fitness Industry - November 2021

ACA, White House Recognize New Hampshire Program That Benefits Camps & Families - November 2021

New NRPA Guide Aims to Facilitate Conversations Around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion - November 2021

Grants Available for Youth & Adult Swim Lesson Providers - October 2021

NAYS Partnership Will Provide Sporting Goods Where Needed - October 2021

RWJF Recognizes Community-Based Sports Organizations - October 2021

Soccer Mini Pitch Honoring Former MLS Player Ray Gaddis Unveiled in Indianapolis - October 2021

CDC Reports Major Increase in Obesity Over Past Decade - September 2021

Despite Pandemic, Sports & Fitness Participation Grew, Says SFIA - September 2021

Partnerships Between Parks & Schools Provide More Equitable Access - September 2021

$500,000 in Grants Awarded for Water-Inspired Play Spaces - September 2021

Leading Organizations Endorse Children's Bill of Rights in Sports - August 2021

Screentime Up, Mental & Physical Fitness Down, Says New Study - August 2021

The Great American Outdoors Act, One Year Later - August 2021

IHRSA Foundation Digs Into the New Fitness Consumer Mindset - August 2021

NRPA Announces Grant Funding to Support Equitable Access to Parks - August 2021

Arlington, Va., Named 'Fittest City' - July 2021

ACE Launches Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Course for Exercise Pros - July 2021

NRPA Survey Finds Strong Support for Park & Rec Infrastructure Investments - July 2021

2021 Report Shows Record Outdoor Participation - July 2021

YMCA Examines Generational, Racial Inequities in Water Safety Education - June 2021

Child Drownings Remain High - June 2021

CPSC Announces $2 Million in Grants Available to Help Prevent Drowning, Entrapment - June 2021

10th Annual ParkScore Index Names Washington, D.C., Best City Park System - June 2021

ACE, WIFA Launch Opportunity to Support Women in Fitness - June 2021

$150 Million in Grants Will Create Parks, Expand Recreation Opportunities - May 2021

CPSC Awards More Than $860,000 in Pool Safely Grants - May 2021

Leading Aquatic Organizations Champion Water Safety - May 2021

Keep America Beautiful Releases Study on Litter in America - May 2021

Outdoor Industry Association Paints Picture of the New Outdoor Participant - April 2021

NRPA Introduces New Resource Aimed at Eliminating Health Inequities - April 2021

ULI Report: Pandemic Led to Innovation in the Public Realm - April 2021

Nation's Pediatricians Provide New Guidance on Summer Camp Safety - April 2021

Grants Invest in Community Trail Projects - March 2021

Research Supports Safe Camp Operations During Pandemic - March 2021

USA Swimming Distributes Community Impact Grants - March 2021

Research Uncovers What Consumers Need to Return to Gyms - March 2021

Study Details Hard-Hitting Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Attractions Industry - March 2021

Outdoor Participation Up Significantly, Says Topline Data From Outdoor Foundation - February 2021

USA Swimming Awards Funds to Local Swimming Committees - February 2021

NGWSD Celebrates Girls & Women in Sports - February 2021

Organizations Lodge Opposition to Last-Minute LWCF Changes - February 2021

Parks & Rec Pros Serve Essential Mentorship Role - January 2021

USA Swimming, U.S. Masters Swimming Partner to Support Learn-to-Swim - January 2021

Online Training Tops 2021 Fitness Trends, Says ACSM - January 2021

New Appropriations Act Boosts City Park Funding - January 2021

Trust for Public Land Ranks Boise No. 1 for Dog Parks - December 2020

USA Swimming Recognizes Top-Performing Clubs - December 2020

Pediatricians Update Youth Sports Guidance, Recommend Face Coverings at All Times - December 2020

ACA Grant Program Aims to Promote Access and Inclusion at Camp - December 2020