Posted by: conorsjohnson | March 5, 2010

Public Parks

Public Parks

Public parks offer a quite relaxing place for people of all ages to gather and have a great time. The use of public parks is underutilized in many cities. A group called Project for Public Spaces is trying to change this. Their motive is, “Parks succeed when people come first.” Although they have been relatively successful in turning around public spaces, most public parks are seeing a decline in funding.

One reason for this decline in Park use is due to the lack of funding they receive. It was recently announced that New York is facing a budget deficit of more than $8 billion. This includes the closure of 42 parks and 14 historic sites. New York is a major tourist destination for many people, which means this will not only affect the local citizens but also people from all over the world.

Moving closer to home, we can take a look at how Portland Parks and Recreation is handling a similar situation. A recent article brought to attention an illegal 1-mile long bike path that had been made in forest park. The main argument in the story was the bike paths affect on wild life. A quote by Fish sums up the article, “But he also pointed out that hikers cut illegal paths and nobody thinks to ban them from the park. Same for dog owners who let their pets run free in sensitive wildlife areas.”

Without proper funding parks are going to start losing their maintenance and services. This leads to dirtier parks and even less visitors. This effect is starting to be seen in New York already. Many cities have started to look towards the public for help in deciding the futures of some state Parks. Terre Haute in Indiana is holding an input meeting to set up a 5-year plan for their city parks. They are hoping that they can lighten the burden on the city for money.

Overall, the information all led me to believing that Public Parks are unfortunately the victims of a lack of funding and advertising. Many people are discouraged by bad weather and lack of knowledge of parks. If more people knew about the opportunities they have in their community it would benefit them greatly.

Sources:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/mar2010/park-m02.shtml

http://www.pps.org/parks_plazas_squares/

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/02/rogue_trail_builders_clear_mil.html

http://theithacan.org/am/publish/news/201003_State_cuts_may_eliminate_park_services.shtml

http://tribstar.com/news/x1834681879/Public-to-help-plan-for-parks-future

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