Parks & Recreation

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.

Scolding Beachgoers Isn’t Helping

People complain that going to the shore is a careless act during a pandemic, but the science so far suggests otherwise.

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.

Parks and Recreation Returned, and State and Local Officials Were Here for It

The reunion episode of the show about local government in the fictional city of Pawnee, Indiana offered a lighthearted take on the pandemic.

Across the Country, Local Officials Hope New Rules Will Help Parks Reopen Safely

Dozens of municipalities are reopening park facilities, but requiring that visitors wear masks and adhere to social distancing to continue to fight the spread of Covid-19.

Keep the Parks Open

Public green spaces are good for the immune system and the mind—and they can be rationed to allow for social distancing.

Trail Use Way Up as Coronavirus Stifles Other Activities

“People are craving outlets for their physical and mental well being,” said an expert. But this has created concerns that people are too crammed together in these open spaces.

Using Data to Ensure Equitable Funding for Parks

Cities are beginning to use data to allocate funding to parks in low-income and blighted neighborhoods that haven't seen investment for years, a new report found.

State Park Debuts Virtual Reality Hike

Table Rock State Park in South Carolina now provides a 5-minute virtual hike, offered for free at the park's visitor center to anyone who can't—or doesn't want to—walk the real thing.

Privatizing State Parks Can Save Them—or Wreck Them

States vary when it comes to allowing concessionaires on public land.

Dollar Value of Outdoor Recreation For Each State Detailed in New Data

More states in recent years have been devoting special attention to the outdoor recreation economy. The figures help show its size.

How and Why Parks Spur Gentrification in Cities

While green spaces are often linked to gentrification, new research shows certain types and characteristics of urban parks play a much greater role than others.