P&R Weekly
May. 7, 2012

Poll: Americans view local government most favorably; gap widens on state, federal
California County News
The results of two recent polls show that once again voters and Americans are far more inclined to trust their local government than the federal or state government. While only 33 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the federal government, roughly 2 to 1 of Americans offer a favorable assessment of their local government, according to the Pew Research Center. Simply put, about the same amount of people view local government favorably as they view federal government unfavorably. This stat is particularly notable because it was only 10 years ago that Americans who were polled had favorable assessments of all three levels of government.More

San Mateo County parks at fiscal, developmental 'crossroads'
San Mateo County Times
South Bay voters have expressed their love for parks over the past 40 years by approving, and reapproving, a special fund that directs roughly $30 million in property tax revenue every year to the Santa Clara County parks system. When San Mateo County voters were given the chance to follow suit, they declined. Twice in the past six years — in 2006 and again in 2008 — voters rejected a ballot measure that would have raised about $16 million a year for parks and recreation by increasing the sales tax one-eighth of a cent.More

California state parks annual pass fee jumps to $195
Los Angeles Times
If you didn't buy an annual California state parks pass yet, prepare to shell out a bit more. The new price of $195 — a $70 leap — has gone into effect. The California Department of Parks and Recreation hopes to generate $1 million to $1.5 million by raising the prices of state park passes, according to a statement.More

Parks and recreation survey affects cities seeking grants
The Coast News
Some San Diegans soon will be asked to take part in a phone, mail or online survey that could affect future grant funding for local parks and recreation facilities. The California Department of Parks and Recreation Department, along with the University of Utah and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, will be conducting a statewide survey in the next several months to gauge residents' changing preferences and habits when it comes to park use.More

How playful is your community?
Each of the 2012 Playful City USA communities demonstrated creative commitments to addressing the Play Deficit. Playful City USA, sponsored by the Humana Foundation, celebrates and highlights these unique initiatives developed by communities across the country. This year's 213 Playful City USA honorees hail from 43 states.More

Parks provide public safety as well as recreation
Harry Saltzgaver writes, "Don't call the office looking for me this week; I won't be there. Oh, I'll be in town. But I'll be busy wearing another one of my hats — the one that says I Love Parks on it. The regionwide California Park & Recreation Society convention is in town. Technically, it is called the California & Pacific Southwest Recreation & Park Training Conference, and it draws professionals and advocates from Arizona, Nevada, even Hawaii."More

Kerman continues support for parks
The Fresno Bee
Construction will begin this summer on a nature-themed park in Kerman, the latest effort to provide green space that promotes outdoor activities and healthy lifestyles, city officials said. During tough financial times when many cities are struggling to maintain their parks, Kerman officials say residents continue their commitment to parks. "In Kerman, there's been long-standing support for parks," City Manager Luis Patlan said. "We see this as a vital part of our quality of life."More

Coalition: Parks funding must be priority in LA's budget
A coalition made up of park advocates, labor leaders and council members called on the Budget and Finance Committee to make parks funding a priority in the next fiscal year. Led by civic leader Steve Soboroff, the Parks Save! campaign wants city leaders to preserve the Recreation and Parks budget, which actually would increase by $8.7 million under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's proposed budget. More

Related article: Coalition seeks to restore LA parks funding (Los Angeles Times)More

Obesity linked to neighborhood features: Do you live in a fat neighborhood?
ABC News
Where you live may determine your child's weight, according to a series of new studies. In a special issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom used geographic information systems to look at how features of neighborhoods children live and play in affect their health. What they found is that characteristics of the neighborhoods children live in could be contributing to the high rate of obesity in the U.S. and elsewhere. More

Related article: Trevor Ritchie: City must take steps to encourage active lives (Burnaby Now)More

Free recreational activities steer youths away from trouble
Many municipalities in Prince George's County, Md., are seeking to expand on existing recreational activities by organizing more free events to keep youths active and out of trouble during the spring and summer. Brentwood and Colmar Manor both are hosting "National Kids in the Park Day" events on May 19 featuring softball, kickball and soccer games, arts and crafts, and face-painting.More

National parks offer prime viewing, programs for solar eclipse
When the first solar eclipse visible from the U.S. in 18 years takes place May 20, you will be able to enjoy the view from one of 33 national parks, the National Park Service announced. Parks from California to New Mexico will offer some of the best eclipse-viewing opportunities in the country. National park rangers and astronomers from the National Park Service, local astronomy clubs and NASA will converge on several national parks with programs and hands-on eclipse activities for park visitors.More

Solar parking structures
Keri Brady, City of Palmdale asks, "Does anyone have experience with placing solar parking structures at parks? Have residents voiced any concerns regarding the appearance of these structures in a park setting?"More