Officials in Duluth, Minn., have officially declared a climate emergency, a move Sustainability Officer Mindy Granley says will help the city maintain momentum in its battle against climate change. "Our entire economy and society are based on having a stable climate and healthy natural resources, so the bottom line is everything is connected," Granley says.
Skateboarder Tony Hawk's foundation, The Skatepark Project, has contributed $10,000 to help revamp a skate park in Leominster, Mass., in memory of Frankie Fortuna, a skateboarder who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2015. Organizers have raised roughly $400,000 toward their $500,000 goal for the project.
City Council members in Lilburn, Ga., this week voted unanimously to have the city collect its own property taxes after Gwinnett County proposed a change that would have seen the city's tax collection fees jump from $9,518 to over $20,000 annually. In-house tax collection will cost Lilburn around $38,000 this year, but that figure will drop to around $11,000 annually in future years.
Approximately 20 organizations participated in a crisis training session for the Raleigh County, W.Va., Emergency Services Authority. 911 Emergency Planner Cody Fortner says the exercise was the first since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Botetourt County, Va., assistant administrator Cody Sexton has been selected to fill the post of Vinton, Va., assistant manager as Richard "Pete" Peters moves from assistant to town manager. "Cody's knowledge and experience in local government management and his passion for public service were key factors in [his selection,] and we are very excited to have him join our team," Peters says.
Recreation and park organizations are holding volunteer cleanup events this month, including in Iowa and Michigan. "Volunteers are a vital component of the operations and maintenance of the Grand Rapids park system," says Grand Rapids, Mich., Parks and Recreation Superintendent Joe Sulak.
St. Joseph, Mo., is partnering with the Community Action Partnership of Greater St. Joseph on a day-labor program in which people experiencing homelessness will work at city parks. "We've seen about 75% of individuals that went through the daily work program, the last time we had it, that actually ended up getting full-time positions" locally, says Rachael Bittiker of the community organization.
The reopening of Splash Valley Aquatic Park in Kankakee, Illinois, has been set for Memorial Day weekend. The Kankakee Valley Park District is seeking bids to renovate up to three slides at the park and will meet April 26 to take further action.
The Hillsborough County, Fla., Parks and Recreation Department is holding its first exercise challenge through July 31. Participants are encouraged to visit local parks and can get prizes for hitting mileage marks for all kinds of exercise.
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