What wonderful thing have you discovered lately? If you had come with us on the second annual Green Gym Day, you would have discovered a lot. A secret forest in northern Manhattan, above Harlem; a peaceful cove with a floating Victorian-style boathouse; columns from medieval European cloisters; the largest heath and heather garden on the East Coast; a 200-foot stone tower – and ethereal outdoor art. You would have hiked through and between five of the most gorgeous parks in the city, with the most spectacular views of the Hudson and East Rivers. You would have danced and stretched during the breaks in each park. And you would have eaten free mulberries from a tree.
Let's have more Green Gym Days--how about every weekend?
Incorporate your fitness regimen into summer travel so you don’t miss a beat.
Some great tips here, including a "pushup trio" using a park bench. There's lots more you can do using a park bench--like 100 more exercises. "Nancercize: 101 Things to Do on a Park Bench." www.nancercize.net
why I'm inviting you our for a walk in the park?By now, you already know that prolonged sitting is bad for your body. But what exactly goes on when you sit for hours every day? This graphic from the Washington Post explains.
The ever-playful Basurama (whose Ghost Train Park in Lima has been previously featured on the blog) collaborated with Brazilian collective Contrafilé and other partners to create a park in which to both play AND think in a Sao Paulo favela. The community, and especially its children, were deeply engaged in both planning and construction. They - Read the rest...
Does your playground encouraging thinking? Does it encourage interaction among generations?
A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.
"“The advent of all these special surfaces for playgrounds has contributed very little, if anything at all, to the safety of children,” he told me. Ball has found some evidence that long-bone injuries, which are far more common than head injuries, are actually increasing. The best theory for that is “risk compensation”—kids don’t worry as much about falling on rubber, so they’re not as careful, and end up hurting themselves more often. The problem, says Ball, is that “we have come to think of accidents as preventable and not a natural part of life.”"
Happiness is a difficult thing to measure due to its subjective nature, but scientists have been trying nonetheless. Here is a compilation of some of the most interesting findings they've gathered so far packed into one big infographic.
See how being outdoors and exercising make you happier!
The rise of the suburban shopping mall seems to have doomed the department store rooftop playground in the United States but it lives on in Asia, where Alan Maskin of Olson Kundig Architects and Korean artist Do-Ho Suh have created a something more that just a children’s play space; a ‘secret park’ on the rooftop of the Shinsegae store in - Read the rest...
Looking to Asia for cool ideas about outdoor play in the city. Magic Garden rooftop, anyone?
To maximize health, safety and fun, dog trainer Jill Freifeld of Happy Hound Pet Care in Silver Spring offers these suggestions: ●Have your dog checked by your veterinarian to be sure it’s fit and he...
Three years after approval and financing, a Brooklyn dog run has still not been rehabilitated, just one example of parks department bureaucracy in its capital program.
The study... revealed that in many instances, the other agencies delivered projects faster and cheaper than the parks department... “The level of bureaucracy in the parks department causes headaches for contractors. The capital process needs an overhaul.” Ya think?
This selection of wonderful rides will help you happen upon the trail of your dreams.
One of my favorite parks, and featured on Green Gym Day:
High Bridge Park Trail, N.Y.
Situated in Washington Heights just north of the George Washington Bridge, although this path is part of an urban landscape it presents a challenging terrain that should only be attempted by experienced bikers. Chris Wogas, president of Bike and Roll NYC, describes the trail as somewhat mountainous. According to NYC Bike Maps the entire course spans over about 3 miles and includes a few areas suitable for beginner and intermediate bike riders plus a freeride trail and a mid-level dirt jump park featuring a pump track.
Any form of activity gains something from the natural environment. In this guest post, yoga instructor Shawna Emerick, one of the yoga teachers in the summertime yoga program I coordinate, writes beautifully and eloquently about what doing yoga in nature means to her. Community grows from this place. From the communion with nature, to the communion with friends, old and new, we share in the practice of union(yoga) together. We come to see that we share so much more than just flesh and bones, breath and movement; we share in feeling. Do you agree?
Take your yoga outside and let me know how it feels!
As I’ve said before, merely including rocks and stumps doesn’t make for a great design. So learn from Kukuk’s more thoughtful use of stone on the playground. The main point is that the boulders are full participants in the play…integrated with all the other elements of climbers, sand, water, walls…so that the child is constantly moving up and over and down and around, even on their way to something else. In Kukuk’s work, boulders aren’t detached blobs scattered loosely around the space. They’re physically attached…as part of a timber climber or a seat or a challenging entry to a playhouse or a sand surround or a bridge or a watercourse.
There's an art to playground design, even when you use natural materials.