Parks & Recreation

Best and Worst States for Job Opportunities

South Dakota tops the list while Kentucky is No. 50 based on an analysis using 35 economic metrics.

From New Hampshire to California, Parks Departments Embrace Video Games

Esports leagues, where gamers of all ages compete online in tournaments, are an increasingly popular programming choice for parks and recreation departments.

Georgia Election Law Fuels Partisan Cancel Culture Debate

After Major League Baseball announced it was pulling the All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest of the state’s election law, Sen. Mitch McConnell warned of “serious consequences.”

City Dwellers Gained More Access to Public Spaces During the Pandemic – Can They Keep It?

COMMENTARY | Will cities revert to familiar car-centric patterns, or build on the past year to create more outdoor spaces that are accessible and welcoming for all of their residents?

What Can Parks Do When Demand Rises as Budgets Decline?

Though there may be greater appreciation for the nation’s parks, many are still fighting for funding. Some states are finding solutions.

Republicans Grill Interior Nominee Over Potential Energy Job Losses

U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland sought to downplay her previous statements against fracking and drilling, while also reiterating that the Biden administration is committed to shifting toward clean energy.

Hit the Hardest, Closed the Longest: Artists Make the Case for More Covid Aid

Nearly 3 million jobs in the creative industries were lost during the coronavirus pandemic. While some local and state governments have offered assistance, advocates say more is needed.

Electric Cargo Bikes Are Debuting in City Fleets

Under a pilot program, parks employees in Portland, Oregon will conduct trail maintenance using zero-emission bikes that were specifically designed for municipal employees.

National Parks Service Shares Fresh Details on Forthcoming Self-Driving Shuttle Pilot

Yellowstone National Park visitors can catch rides on the autonomous shuttles early next summer.

Parks Prove Popular During Pandemic—But Budget Cuts Loom

A June survey by the National Park and Recreation Association found that a majority of Americans consider parks an essential government service, but decreased revenue from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to threaten parks funding in the future.

Summertime Visitors Swarm State Parks and Budgets

State parks see record traffic as people seek recreation amid a pandemic.

How to Design a Street for Hands-Off Play

In New York City, there are far fewer play streets than two decades ago. But at the ones that do exist, temporary structures like an obstacle course can allow for social play along with social distancing.

Twitter Posts Show People Are Profoundly Sad—and Are Visiting Parks to Cheer Up

COMMENTARY | An analysis of Twitter posts to score people's "happiness" shows that the national mood is at its lowest point since the start of the project in 2008. But posts about park visits show they combat this malaise.

Search and Rescue Teams, Already Stretched Thin, See Surge in Calls

The pandemic is exposing the vulnerabilities of America’s search and rescue model.

For July Fourth, Many Cities Go Virtual or Cancel Fireworks Displays

Some larger cities have opted to cancel their Independence Day fireworks while others are hosting virtual events or taking steps to encourage social distancing. New York City is planning a nightly surprise show each day this week.

Conservation Could Create Jobs After the Pandemic

COMMENTARY | When it comes to public lands, conservation and developing parks can create more jobs than oil and gas development.

A Dip in the Public Pool This Summer? Local Leaders Weigh What’s Possible

Some states are giving the go-ahead for municipalities to open pools, but that doesn’t mean local governments will have the staff or financial resources to do so.

Minneapolis Parks, Schools Cut Ties With Police Department

STATE AND LOCAL NEWS ROUNDUP | Racial slur uttered after Ahmaud Arbery shooting, defendant said … Las Vegas bans protesters from carrying backpacks … Hawaii warns of scams targeting sex offenders.

A Ranking of City Park Systems—While Parks Are More Important Than Ever

The national index ranks large city park systems on a number of metrics, including how many residents can walk to the nearest one.

State Parks See Overcrowding as Temperatures Climb

State parks across the country have limited capacity to encourage social distancing, leading to closures over the weekend as temperatures warmed and people flocked outdoors.