Boyne City, Mich., has approved a multi-faceted plan to address erosion that has worsened over the past year in several areas along the banks of Lake Charlevoix. Included are a rock wall, stone replacement, native plants and soil backfilling.
The pandemic has decimated tourism in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, but city officials are using the opportunity to encourage short-term rental owners to convert their properties to affordable housing for locals. The program waives taxes on rental incomes for property owners who commit to renting to locals for at least five years, and the city will subsidize rents for low-income residents in an effort to bring locals back to the city center to help reduce congestion and pollution caused by commuters.
Jefferson County, Ala., residents are required to wear masks in public spaces including businesses, public transportation and ride-sharing vehicles under an ordinance aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. The county is encouraging all residents to wear masks, but is not mandating them for people outside in groups of less than 10 who can maintain social distancing and people attending church services.
Officials in Hogansville, Ga., have hired former Surry County, Va., city administrator Jonathan Lynn to fill the post of city manager. Lynn, who was born and raised in Georgia, plans to spend his first weeks on the job getting to know city staff and council members.
Recreation and park departments' operations have been changed by the coronavirus pandemic, so leaders will need to adopt 10 "next practices" to succeed going forward, writes Neelay Bhatt. Those include enhancing sanitation and hygiene and offering more virtual recreation and esports opportunities.
The Milwaukee Recreation Department is providing free meals for children to be picked up at playgrounds throughout the city this summer, and employees will also provide socially distanced activities. "We will be doing activities that kids can do individually, for example, leading kids through basketball dribbling drills," says Andrew Rossa, the department's playground and community center coordinator.
Restaurants are increasingly offering outdoor seating as states and cities gradually reopen, which is creating a space crunch for nearby parks, sidewalks and streets, Feargus O'Sullivan writes. "It remains to be seen whether cities can avoid the worst-case scenario, in which streets become quasi-privatized preserves for paying customers granted new freedoms, while people who are homeless, protesting or simply hanging out find their right to occupy the same spaces curtailed," he writes.
The Lafayette, La., Parks and Recreation Department is starting a program Monday for children ages 8 and up to learn life skills such as problem-solving and decision-making. The program will also include lessons on COVID-19 and other health-related topics.
Children in East Coast states have gained weight since the middle of March, when pandemic-related shutdowns began, according to a survey by health and fitness website Total Shape. Now that more parks are reopening, families can participate in activities such as walking or riding bikes to keep children active and at a healthy weight, registered dietitian nutritionist Jennifer Hall says.
Recreation and park departments can help Black people, Indigenous people and people of color feel more comfortable in the outdoors by partnering with organizations led by members of these communities, writes Priya Cook of the City Kids Wilderness Project. "Parks and public spaces must remake themselves as sanctuaries for all and become places where [B]lack people and all people can celebrate, heal and breathe," she writes.
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