Last month, as we remembered the sucker punch of events that took place 13 years ago on Sept. 11, we were also reminded of how the great and generous American spirit kicked in to heal this country and bring us back to each other and to what is really important in life.
The department on which we focus in this issue of The Municipal is also in the business of facilitating meaningful moments. In local parks we rest, reconnect with nature and with each other, entertain ourselves and improve our physical fitness as well as, sometimes our outlook on life.
You’ll see that the magazine’s coverage presents ideas for addressing some of the unpleasant but also inevitable phenomenon that parks and recreation directors must deal with, such as pest bird infestations and bacteria buildups. Microbes, which have a convenient appetite for contaminants, offer the ability for municipalities to clean up both brown-fields and contaminated bodies of water, but different strains of bacteria like different things. Working with a microbial solutions company can render a sometimes surprisingly satisfactory result.
Additionally, the Clean Cities coalition is working with national parks and some state and local parks and recreation entities to help them move further toward a healthy future that involves sustainable landscape practices. A component of this “green” advice is the difficult decision of whether to switch to propane-powered mowers and how to make that happen on budgets that, for the most part, haven’t rebounded to pre-recession levels.
One of our good news story this month is parks-related as well and comes out of Kettering, Ohio. Kettering enjoys enviable local public support of its infrastructure and programs, and thanks to residents’ support recently completed numerous renovation and construction projects. The city’s efforts were recognized by the American Academy for Park and Recreation and the National Recreation and Parks Association, and they are among the contenders for a national gold medal of excellence in recreation management at the NRPA conference in March.
In a nod to what’s ahead, take a look at the report on page 48 about a stellar snow removal program in Minnesota that actually has citizens raving. Here at The Municipal we’re rather hoping that the farmer’s almanacs are wrong in their predications about the coming season; but just in case they’re not, I’m pulling out the snow boots next weekend.