Posts

Is a zoo a park?

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The question is whether a zoo can be considered a park. The term "zoo" is short for zoological park. According to National Geographic , a zoo is a place where animals live in captivity. Zoos typically focus on exhibiting a variety of species for educational and conservation purposes. Zoos have been around since 1793, when the first modern zoo opened in Paris, France. However, it wasn't until 1874 that the first zoo opened in the United States in Philadelphia.   Parks are public green areas used for outdoor recreation, linear trails, and corridors with recreational amenities or open spaces providing wildlife habitat and preserving scenic assets. Parks also play a role in preserving natural habitats, promoting environmental awareness, and providing cultural and recreational activities. Boston Common , established in 1634, is called the first public park. It was not until the mid-1800s that parks were planned in the United States. Designed by visionaries Frederick Law Olms

Squashapenny Junction

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  Squashapenny Junction as described by Visit RichmondVA.com is “no ordinary antiques store”. It is located next to the railroad track in the Doswell area of Hanover County. For generations, this spot has been a place where people could use passing trains to flatten pennies. Is Squashapenny Junction just a place of business, or does it embody the essence of a true ‘place’? Expanding this concept to rural communities, under the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge,   Innovation Challenge, the USDA has allocated $4 million in cooperative agreement funds to support planning in rural communities. These funds aim to promote infrastructure and access. While these funds may not be a good fit for Hanover’s “Squashapenny” directly, they could be evaluated as a funding source promoting rural tourism.       Squashapenny provides a unique visual destination and antiques attraction. The increasing influx of I-95 tourists and visitors to the nearby Kings Dominion theme park presents an opportunit

Teamwork & Synchronized Swimming

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  Synchronized movements in the water are artfully accomplished to music, where each swimmer depends on the others and plays a specific part in the choreographed routine. The long underwater chains of swimmers break apart and then simultaneously pop to the surface to gasp for breath – all while maintaining radiant smiles. The audience marvels at how these elegant, dolphin-like swimmers move together, making their dance appear effortless as they emerge to the surface with cheerful expressions to breathe. A synchronized swimming performance comprises two essential parts – underwater and on the surface. Teamwork is paramount: every synchronized swimmer leaves the pool with a heightened understanding of the phrase, “I really could not have done that without you.” What's visible to the audience above water is the team’s seamless coordination, flow, and collaborative effort. Synchronized swimming simply cannot succeed without a fully functioning team. How does this resonate with your own

Paul Pelican goes Fishing

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This story follows Paul Pelican fishing along the shores of Virginia's beaches. Join in the fun with Paul in this coloring book !  

Winter garden

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  Native plants are the best! They provide habitat, food, and resources for birds, critters, and wildlife. Sometimes we inherit non-native plants that we must replace immediately. These are the invasive ones that run out the natives and take over while not providing any benefit to wildlife and the environment. Other plants that are not native we tolerate. Sometimes we have a secret love affair with non-natives we saw in foreign countries or plants that our grandparents grew in their gardens.   My secret non-native plant is Linton rose by its common name and Helleborus is its genus. I am attracted to it because it is one of the first blooms I see in winter. This plant says to me, spring is coming, and I am bowing my head as if in prayer for winter to subside. I have a clump of Helleborus in my garden. It is not tucked away as a family secret. It greets you as you approach the front door.

Planning for Accessibility in Parks

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Planning for accessibility in parks Accessibility and accommodations for people with disabilities must be addressed by parks and recreation departments. Because of the lack of ability to participate, disabled persons have not always had the opportunity to be fully engaged in parks. When this happens, the disabled communities are marginalized as well as family and friends. Most often disabled persons and their families have a resilience for withstanding and recovering from difficulties. In spite of this, park professionals must advocate to disarm any sense of invisibility and loss of participation for persons with disabilities.   Framing the work of providing parks and programs under diversity, equity and inclusion will help ensure that everyone can participate. Inclusion broadens the opportunity to focus on providing equal opportunities for everyone in various ways. Making parks and programs accessible to all helps everyone to enjoy parks and recreation opportunities. As parks a

Becoming a Park Planner

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As a child I loved walking up the street to the church on Fitzhugh Creek. Henrico County was not known for its parks in the 1960s and that was the closest parklike place to my home. At the church, I collected leaves and walked along the stream with Momma. I was not allowed to play in the water because it was not clean. The wooded area that ran beside the creek was hedged between Horsepen Road and the church on Grace Street. It was less than one half block long, at best a postage stamp - a pocket park of sorts. The size of the space did not matter. This was where I collected fall leaves that were carefully pressed between the pages of the Britannica Encyclopedia or layered between two pieces of wax paper pressed with the iron so we could take them to school.  This process of walking along the creek, collecting leaves and pressing them was how Momma taught me the names of plants and trees. She nurtured my love of nature in a city environment. It is where my love began for the outdoors an