Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

September 30th is National Public Lands Day

(Family health emergencies make it very difficult to stay up to date with the blog.)

I have thought for some time that these special events: (1) National Parks Week, the last week of April; (2) National Trails Day, the first Saturday in June; and (3) National Public Lands Day, the last Saturday in September; could be better leveraged by parks and trails systems as days to call extra-normal attention to parks, trails, and public lands, although National Parks Week is sponsored by the National Park Service to call attention specifically to national parks. But "National" has two meetings -- the entire nation as well as the National Parks system.

Alternatively, why couldn't the last week of April also be "State Parks Week."

This Saturday, on National Public Lands Day, all national public lands -- parks under the National Park Service, recreation areas run by the Army Corps of Engineers, lands run by the Bureau of Land Management, forests run by the US Department of Agriculture; and wildlife preserves run by the US Department of Fish and Wildlife -- are free to enter.  Many state park systems will provide free access as well.

A clickable map on the NPLD webpage allows you to identify events in your state.

Given the various controversies surrounding the US Department of Interior under the Trump Administration, in terms of the appointment of Ryan Zinke as Secretary ("Zinke says a third of Interior’s staff is disloyal to Trump and promises huge changes," Washington Post) and various policy steps such as rescinding the ban on sales of bottled water in national parks ("National park ban saved 2m plastic bottles – and still Trump reversed it," Guardian ); the review of boundaries of National Monuments, which has resulted in recommendations to downsize certain parks ("Interior secretary recommends shrinking 6 national monuments according to leaked memo," Associated Press); the increased access to public lands for oil and gas production ("Interior Secretary orders faster permitting of oil and gas drilling on public land," Casper Star-Tribune), as well as state actions such as the State Legislature of Utah voting to take control of federal lands ("Public lands are not the states’ to “take back,” but they may get them after all" St. George Independent; "Denver snags vast outdoor show from Utah over public lands politics," Colorado Springs Gazette), National Public Lands Day is a good time to discuss the concept and value of "public goods" such as public lands.

I haven't had time to pick up and read the book Our Common Wealth: The Hidden Economy That Makes Everything Else Work by Jonathan Rowe and Peter Barnes, but it's on my list.

-- first chapter
-- "The Glory of the Commons," Washington Monthly

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