Open Space >> Briefly Noted
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and to
help combat this growing epidemic, the United
States Tennis Association (USTA) is hosting USTA Free Tennis Play Days in
celebration of Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play in an effort to get kids
active and involved in tennis. The USTA Free Tennis Play Days, which take place
September 1st through October 6th, are a unique and fun way for tennis
facilities, parks, and municipalities to introduce tennis to a new generation
of kids and their parents.
USTA Free Tennis Play Days will provide kids of all skill levels
with the opportunity to take part in tennis skills and game challenges in a
social and fun setting. These events are open to the public and emphasis is
placed on family participation, effort, and sportsmanship.
The first 2,000 events registered to host a USTA Free Tennis Play
Day will receive special giveaways for their attendees. Organizers will receive
branded materials and national exposure for hosting an event. To host a USTA
Free Tennis Play Day, please register at www.youthtennis.com.
In 2011, the Golf Course
Builders Association of America (GCBAA) Foundation established the Sticks
for Kids Excellence Award to recognize the efforts of its Sticks for Kids
junior golf programs. The award is meant to honor an outstanding program that
has utilized its granted Sticks for Kids program to reach its fullest potential
by establishing and growing a junior golf program that serves as an outreach
and youth development tool as well as a means to “grow the game.”
The GCBAA Foundation Board of Directors recently decided to rename
the award the “Jim Kirchdorfer Sticks for Kids Excellence Award” to honor the
program’s founder. Jim Kirchdorfer, Sr., now deceased, established one of the
first two test locations of the program in 1997 with bags of cut-down golf
clubs to be used as loaner sets for children who didn’t have their own, at
participating courses in Louisville, Kentucky.
A partnership with National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
began in 2006 and served to revitalize the program, hone the focus, and give
access to municipalities in need of junior golf programming across the United
States. Sticks for Kids now numbers 461 locations and has touched the lives of
nearly 300,000 children over the course of its history.
Contact the GCBAA Foundation for additional information or
to nominate an individual for this award.
A new research brief from Active
Living Research summarizes research on physical activity in after-school
programs and examines how policies can help after-school programs more
effectively promote physical activity and prevent obesity among
children. The study’s key findings and recommendations are as
are getting less than half of the recommended amount of physical activity
for after-school time.
regarding after-school physical activity are inconsistent, ranging from
the vague "provide scheduled daily play time," to the specific
"20 percent of daily program time for moderate-to-vigorous physical
majority of existing policies regarding physical activity for after-school
programs claim to be evidence-based, yet none of the evidence cited was
based on data collected within the after-school program environment.
strategies include maximizing the amount of time children spend in
physical activity within the period of time already allocated for activity,
refining existing evidence-based curricula to improve its effectiveness at
increasing physical activity, and ensuring that activities appeal to boys
The full brief is available for download at
Lincoln, Nebraska, the Cowboy Recreation
and Nature Trail’s new Norfolk Bridge is now complete and open to the
public. The bridge, located three miles west of town and spanning the Elkhorn
River, replaces the previous one washed out by a 2010 flood.
and repairs will continue on the 22 miles of trail damaged in the flood, though
many sections are complete and open to the public. Trail users can get daily
updates from OutdoorNebraska.org to see which sections are closed for repairs.
tribute to Brody Cole, an 8-year-old boy who passed away in 2009 from
mitochondrial disease, Little Tikes
Commercial and Children’s Healthcare
of Atlanta have partnered to build an inclusive memorial playground
designed for children with serious illnesses. During the last two years of his
life, Cole ended his prayers with the enigmatic words, “And at the playground,
I slide down the slide. Amen.” Though the exact meaning behind his words is
unclear, his passion for play is evident, and the resulting partnership ensures
that other children can have a place to play, despite their physical
“Little Tikes Commercial was able to help us
reach our goals in a way that no other company was willing or able to do,” says
Natalie Owens, senior interior designer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“We were constrained by a relatively small space, as well as the need to make
this space fun for kids of all ages and conditions. Little Tikes Commercial
created a unique two-level structure that gives enough clearance for IV poles
and wheelchairs to roll underneath the second level. Other activities, such as
the weather and music stations, and ladybug ride, are fun for younger children.
This is truly a playground that will be enjoyed by everyone. We really
appreciated Little Tikes Commercial’s generosity and flexibility with this
project. They helped us bring Brody’s Dream to life and we could not be
The ribbon cutting ceremony for Brody’s Dream
Playground was held on June 10 with many of Cole’s family members, friends, and
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta staff and patients in attendance.
Greening the Landscape: Strategies for
Environmentally Sound Practice, by Adam Regn Arvidson, is a new,
informative guide for improving the environmental performance of any landscape
through the use of green construction and maintenance. Everyone can do
something—landscape architects and designers, green industry professionals
(including nurseries, contractors, and management companies), site owners and
managers, and serious gardeners.
publishing September 17, this book is available now directly from publisher W.
W. Norton. To receive 20 percent off the list price, please enter promotion
during checkout. This special offer ends August 31.