No one appreciates a great deal on incredible education more than my blog readers! So, if you haven't registered for the brand new DEPR (Desktop Education for Parks and Recreation) Monthly Webinar series which begins next week and runs through December 2013, then don't wait another minute! These webinars feature the very best instructors and topics in parks and recreation such as Prioritizing your Time, Leadership, Marketing Planning, Revenue Development and so much more.
We are selling out, but I have held back a few spots especially for the readers of "Little Red's Big Ideas." But don't wait another minute to check it out.
If you are a fan of my blog and workshops then I know you and your staff will get tons out of these monthly online workshops -- especially since you can participate from the comfort of your desk (or laptop).
The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA), at its National Conference in New Orleans earlier this month, unvieled a new model for Active Aging. According to an email from Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA, "This new industry-shifting model-the 'Nine Principles of Active Aging'-is designed to guide governments, product and service providers, employers, and the health care industry in implementing their active-aging strategies.
These principles, and a few of the many questions that need to be answered, appear below.
Nine Principles of Active Aging
1. Populations: The older population is extremely diverse, from ability and age, to income and culture, to sexual orientation. How will we meet the needs of these different individuals?
2. Perceptions: Ageism and negative stereotypes of aging are stalling the opportunity to empower older adults. To move forward, we need to leave the old way of thinking behind.
3. People: Who will serve the older population's needs? With fewer people entering the labor market, where will the workers come from? Will technology fill the gaps?
4. Potential: A society in which older consumers dominate purchasing decisions creates untold business opportunities. What are these opportunities, and how can businesses tap them?
5. Products: Whether due to a lack of interest or understanding among product or service providers, too few offerings today are geared to the older population. From technology to housing, the result is immense opportunity for those who respond strategically.
6. Promotions: Effective promotions are needed to inspire change. Yet marketers often earn a failing grade from older adults when they focus on the older population, perhaps because they have an inaccurate or incomplete picture of these consumers. To be effective, promotions must be rooted in the realities of today's older adults.
7. Places: Environments can encourage or discourage older adults in leading active, engaged lives. From indoors to outdoors, what environments support active aging?
8. Policies: How do policy decisions affect active aging? Consider how important policies are in areas such as age discrimination, and affordable care and housing.
9. Programs: As promoted by ICAA, the seven dimensions of wellness-physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, vocational and environmental wellness-are the backbone of active aging. They are also key to meeting the challenge of providing diverse programs and environments that fulfill the needs of the diverse older population.
Established in 2001, ICAA has led, connected and defined the active-aging industry for the past 11 years. More information about ICAA is available online at www.icaa.cc .
While outdoor fitness zones have been highlighted and displayed for several years at park and recreation conferences; it seems they are finally getting noticed by the media as a real solution to public health issues including obesity.
"No costly membership. Open 24-7. Doesn't take up any space in your home. And it's good for you.
Free outdoor gyms, the latest weapon in fighting the nation's obesity epidemic, are sprouting up in city parks across the country. Clusters of traditional fitness equipment from elliptical machines to leg press and sit-up benches are being installed in city parks, often in poorer neighborhoods that may not have access to healthful options.
Leading the effort is the Trust for Public Land, a non-profit land conservation group that created its Fitness Zones program about three years ago to help cities fund outdoor health playgrounds."
In the article, Adrian Benepe, senior vice president and director of city park development for the Trust explains that the program has gone gangbusters," He says. "Essentially, it's like an outdoor gym with new varieties of exercise equipment built to withstand the rigor of weather vandalism." The fitness zones which have been popular overseas are just catching on in the United States.
If you have these fitness zones in your parks or have used them (as I did while visiting Tel Aviv) please comment below.
When it comes to branding, non-profits can benefit as much as for-profit businesses from a strong and committed branding plan. Many non-profits, public agencies and associations stuggle to build a consistent public image because they don't have a visual brand and tagline which is consistently used to communicate their mission, promise and purpose. Imagine, for example, the Red Cross without the "red cross" or the YMCA without the "Y"?
Branding is a necessary part of any organization's success as is demonstrated by reviewing the most recognized non-profit brands as listed In an article posted on the New York Times online edition. Each of these organziation, not only enjoys uber-strong brand recognizion but also they type of public awareness and financial support that follows.
The top three non-profit brands are the YMCA, The Salvation Army and The United Way. The analysis completed by two international marketing firms intends to show "what a powerful asset a brand can be to a nonprofit, if it is leveraged properly,” according to its authors. Name and brand recognition are extremely important to non-profits looking to increasing everything from membership to sponsorships.
To read see the entire list and learn more about non-profit branding click here.
"We've had 30 years of increasing rates of obesity, but we might be seeing the turning point for this epidemic," says pediatrician James Marks, a senior vice president for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which issued a summary report on the topic. One of the foundation's goals is to reverse childhood obesity in this country.
The gains are pretty small in some communities, but if nothing else they reverse long-building trends of higher obesity rates among kids. "There are enough communities that have had declines that it shows any community that makes these kinds of changes could see their children get healthier," Marks says.
Some cities and states also have increased the quantity and quality of physical activity for students, and many have instituted strong nutrition guidelines for the types of foods that can be sold in vending machines, à la carte lines and school stores, she says.
The decline in childhood obesity could become more widespread with the improvements being made in school food nationwide, Wootan says.
Greater declines in obesity are likely to come when the government implements rules for competitive foods, such as candy, chips, soda, cookies and pastries, sold in vending machines, à la carte lines and school stores, she says. Those should be released later this year and go into effect in two years or so, Wootan says. "That's where we'll see a bigger impact."
Nationally about a third (31.8%) of kids and adolescents, ages 2 to 19, are obese or overweight, government statistics show. About 17% of them -- about 12.5 million kids -- are obese. Children are classified as overweight or obese based on where they fall on body mass index (BMI) growth charts.
Those extra pounds put kids at a greater risk of developing a host of debilitating and costly diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
According to the two groups, these places have made improvements in childhood obesity:
-- In Mississippi, the percentage of children in grades K-5 who were obese or overweight fell from about 43% in 2007 to 37.3% in 2011. (Mississippi has the highest adult obesity rate in the country.)
-- In California, obesity and overweight rates for grades 5, 7 and 9 decreased from 38.44% in 2005 to 38% in 2010.
-- In Anchorage, it declined from 38% in 2002-03 to 36% in 2010-11 for those in kindergarten through 12th grade.
-- In New York City, obesity dropped among kindergartners through 8th graders from 21.9% in 2006-07 to 20.7% in 2010-11.
-- In Philadelphia, obesity among K-12 kids decreased from 21.5% in 2006-07 to 20.5% in 2009-10.
-- In El Paso, obesity among fourth-graders decreased from 25.5% in 2000-02 to 18.8% in 2004-05.
Some reasons for these improvements: In Mississippi, the state board of education set nutritional standards in 2006 for foods and beverages sold in school vending machines, and a 2007 state law required the state's public schools to provide more physical activity time, offer healthier foods and beverages and develop health education programs, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report says.
California set strong nutrition standards for school snacks in 2007, the report notes. The foundation's report also cites a study that found that students in California are consuming 158 fewer calories a day than students in states with weaker nutrition standards.
Author Audrey Peterman has just released her second book on the national park experience. She calls “Our True Nature!,” “a layperson’s guide to the NPS through my eyes and footsteps.”
Besides the grand national parks, it includes places such as Paul Revere’s house; the Liberty Bell; John Brown’s Fort; the Ocmulgee moundsand the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. With infectious exuberance, Audrey describes where these parks are, how to get there, where to stay, what to do, and even the best time of year to visit. She says, “it provides the invitation and the information that has been so long needed.” That the book is written by a woman of color, who has been to all the places described, makes it particularly unique. She explains, ”I made a conscious effort not to use the words “fight” or “struggle” anywhere in the book, so much so that my friend who edited it describes it as “an eye-opening invitation to the parks conveyed in Audrey’s inimitable loving
What would your park system do with a 100 million dollar donation? In New York City, this dream has become a reality thanks to a donation from hedgefund manager, John A. Paulson.
In an aritcle posted on the New York Times website, the gift is not only the largest monetary donation in the history of New York City’s park system; it is possibly the nation's largest donation to ANY park system.
The story explains that the donation was "decades in the making. It stretched back to the days when Mr. Paulson, now 56, hung out at the [Bethesda] fountain as a teenager, beneath the bronze statue Angel of the Waters, which was then scrawled with graffiti and bone dry. And it took shape more recently on walks with the president of the conservancy, Doug Blonsky, through the park’s North Woods.
How many more Mr. (and Ms.) Paulson's are out there in these United States who have had their childhoods and lives improved because of parks? What can we do to let more people know that their gifts are needed more than ever to help maintain the places they loved as youth and young adults.
If you don't already subscribe to Kaboom's newletter, take a minute to sign up for this fun, informative look at the Power of Play. Take a look and make sure to share with your park and recreation board or commission. Better yet -- send the entire newsletter to your city manager or mayor.
This month Kaboom's newsletter features:
Increadible treehouses that would make even Robin Carusoe drool,
Then National Recreation and Park Association and National Geogrphic Kids have launched an initiative to set two Guinness World Records and your park and recreation agency can participate. Together we can get the:
Most people to run 100 meters in a 24-hour period
Longest chain of shoes (They'll be recycled into athletic surfaces!)
Between noon ET October 26 and noon ET October 27, you can bring hundreds of kids and families to your location by holding a RUN FOR THE PLANET event. You'll be inspiring kids and families to do something good for their health and the planet while helping to break Guinness World Records at the same time.
ASHBURN, Va., June 26, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- High-tech treasure hunt during Park and Recreation Month encourages Americans to explore the benefits of parks Almost one year after Americans across the country "rocked their parks" with celebratory flashmobs, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) wants everyone to show how wild they are about parks and recreation this July. NRPA is pleased to announce this year's Park and Recreation Month program of activities. The 2012 theme of "Get Wild" encourages individuals, families, friends, and park-lovers everywhere to venture to their local parks and recreation areas to experience the many benefits they offer, such as programs to inspire healthy, active lifestyles and activities to appreciate nature and the environment. "Park and recreation agencies promote health and wellness and significantly contribute to the greater good of a community," says Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA. "The obesity epidemic rages on, physical activity levels remain low and more than ever kids are staying indoors and behind electronic media. Park and Recreation Month is a great time to take a stand against these trends by going to your park, getting active and of course, getting wild!" Nationwide, park and recreation agencies will be helping their community "get wild" through a variety of fun initiatives, events, and activities. One such activity is the Get Wild Geocache contest. Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game, where players locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices or mobile phones and then share their experiences online. During Park and Recreation Month, people can hunt for geocaches in their local parks and recreation areas and submit their treasure hunting stories or photos to NRPA through Facebook to be entered into a contest. Along with the geocaching initiative, NRPA encourages people to take the Get Wild pledge and show their "wild" side with the official Get Wild social media poster. To learn more about how to get wild in parks and recreation areas across the country during Park and Recreation Month, visit www.NRPA.org/july . Through efforts by NRPA, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an official resolution to create Park and Recreation Month in 2009. The Association supports the national park and recreation community and the general public by advocating for federal support for park and recreation programs and legislation. The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit www.NRPA.org . For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org . America's Backyard was launched in 2010 by the National Recreation and Park Association to draw major public attention to the powerful and essential role of parks and recreation in America. The initiative seeks to educate citizens on the American park and recreation landscape, support and encourage national advocacy for the field, and leverage funding and resources for national programs that benefit local communities. For more information, visit www.americasbackyard.org .SOURCE National Recreation and Park Association