(Image from the M.V. Jantzen series in Greater Greater Washington. See item 3 below.)
1. State park systems around the country have been roiled due to budget cuts.
The New York Times has a broad piece about this, "In State Parks, the Sharpest Ax Is the Budget’s," focused on Washington State. The Sacramento Bee has an excellent running section of stories about the budget cuts faced by the state park system in California, including
- Editorial: Parks plan is murky, needs clarity
- STATE OF THE STATE PARKS: Park maintenance databases, photo galleries, stories.
2. City and county park systems have similar problems in terms of cutbacks, although citizens tend to be supportive of parks taxing initiatives. The Sac Bee has an editorial about this in terms of the Sacramento County system, "Editorial: Board needs to move quickly to save parks," as an example. From the article:
Last May, the Board of Supervisors decided to explore a range of options for a different governance and financing structure with the aim of putting a measure on the November 2012 ballot. They charged a grassroots working group to identify options for securing "adequate, stable, long-term funding" for parks.
The group presented its recommendation last week (www.sara riverwatch.org/grassroots.php), after it spent a year conducting meetings, raising private funds for park consultants – including the Trust for Public Lands and Dangermond Group – to study options, and polling voters in February.
3. M.V. Jantzen, in Greater Greater Washington, has an interesting series of pieces "I Wish This Were... in Dupont Circle, part 1" "I Wish This Were... in Dupont Circle, part 2," and "I Wish This Were... in Dupont Circle, part 3" about revisioning Dupont Circle. While the third entry isn't about the park in the circle per se, all raise the issue of re-visioning urban parks, which is something I have been writing about for awhile, partly because so many of DC's parks are under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, which isn't accustomed to running parks to serve city residents, and because DC clearly doesn't take the parks mission seriously, since the city doesn't have a parks and recreation master plan.
4. I hope that the various constituencies in Dupont Circle could see these articles as a spur, a call to action, to organize an urban parks and neighborhood revitalization initiative to help make the area even better, and to help energize a city movement for parks improvement more generally.
5. All these threads have encouraged me to create a new category of links in the right sidebar called "Parks Planning" currently, but will be renamed to "Parks, Recreation, Rivers, and Waterfront Planning" and I will gradually resort current links in other sections and add new ones to the section.
Recently I also created a Health/Public Health section and I probably need to start breaking out bicycling and walking from general transportation as well.
And I will probably begin adding more links to reports etc. within sections. Even if the links go bad, they can probably be recovered through archive. org, which is the only way I seem to be able to maintain links to various DC Office of Planning publications that have been otherwise lost through the horrific "upgrade" to the DC Government website that has ended up removing links to thousands of documents. E.g.:
- Thrive: A Guide to Storefront Design in the District of Columbia
- Trans-Formation: Recreating Transit-Oriented Neighborhood Centers in DC: Design Handbook