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Ensia

Ambika Chawla

19 March 2021

Denver, Colorado, United States

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1500-3000 Words

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Platte Farm Open Space used to be a garbage dumping ground in Denver, but it’s now an urban green space thanks to the efforts from community members, organizations, and the government. This community-led project was a...

Grady Newsource

Abir Saberi

17 March 2021

Athens, Georgia, United States

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Under 800 Words

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Georgia’s Racial Justice Centering Committee, part of the University of Georgia’s United Campus Workers, runs the Racial Justice, Labor, and the South Book Club at the Avid Bookshop. The moderator-led discussions prov...

Connecticut Health Investigative Team

Jenifer Frank

22 February 2021

New Haven, Connecticut, United States

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Medical providers are increasingly prescribing nature therapy – like walks, hikes, or recreational activities – as a way to help children and adults cope with life stressors. First popularized in Japan as "forest bath...

Corpus Christi Caller Times

Clay Carpenter

23 December 2020

Corpus Christi, Texas, United States

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In Texas, bingo is considered a charitable operation and can act as a revenue source, offering a significant contribution to the funding of many 501c(3) nonprofits, but it also "nourishes the community in other, less ...

KXAN-TV

Catenya McHenry

14 December 2020

Austin, Texas, United States

Broadcast TV News

Under 3 Minutes

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As summer programs across the country shut down to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School summer program in Austin tried was forced to quickly pivot to virtual learning. They had to make lar...

Atlas Obscura

Amy Yee

24 November 2020

Rwanda

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Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, once a conservation failure, has been revitalized with fences, patrols, and new technology to become a successful wildlife park. The government partnered with conservation group African...

Boise State Public Radio (KBSX)

Amanda Peacher

28 September 2020

Idaho, United States

Radio

3-5 Minutes

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About 40 volunteer wilderness stewards of the Idaho Conservation League are helping to educate hikers about how to be good outdoor trekkers like disposing of waste properly and staying on the trail. While these volunt...

Block Club Chicago

Pascal Sabino

22 September 2020

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Chicago students organized and, for the first time, convinced the city to rename a park in honor of Frederick and Anna Murray Douglass. The former Douglas Park was named after a Civil War era Illinois senator who advo...

The New York Times

Ginia Bellafante

4 September 2020

New York, New York, United States

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One response to the violent unrest of the late 1960s was New York's installation of a network of swimming pools. The idea: give people a refreshing escape, and a way to cool – literally – the emotions that can lead to...

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Media Network)

Jason Nark

31 August 2020

United States

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The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a New Deal program to build outdoor recreation facilities, creating thousands of jobs during the Great Depression and building iconic state parks. Delaware programs, like the ...

National Geographic

Michael Greshko

27 August 2020

United States

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80 percent of overnight camps across the country have shuttered down due to pandemic. Camps that reopened had to change how they operate, by using a range of practices from apps to field guides, some have been able to...

Next City

Elissaveta M. Brandon

25 August 2020

Harlem, New York, United States

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PLAY NYC, a nonprofit in New York, is reviving a historic pop-up playground concept, which started over two decades ago, in order to increase children's access to playgrounds and physical activity. The concept is simp...

Richland Source

Katie Ellington

21 August 2020

Ashland, Ohio, United States

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As a way to raise funds and awareness for stormwater education, some cities are turning rain barrels into an art exhibit. Rain barrels catch water as it runs off rooftops, which can be used later for watering plants. ...

The New York Times

Robert Sullivan

Jade Doskow

14 August 2020

Staten Island, New York, United States

Multi-Media

1500-3000 Words

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The former Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island is turning into a public park that will accept visitors in 2021. By capping the trash site with plastic, covering it with soil, and planting native grasses, city offici...

The Guardian

Jodi Helmer

14 August 2020

Asheville, North Carolina, United States

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800-1500 Words

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With many people out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some cities and nonprofits are creating outdoorsy job programs to relieve unemployment. Inspired by the conservation corps programs created during the Great D...

Planet Detroit

Anna Clark

13 August 2020

Detroit, Michigan, United States

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Several environmental groups in the Detroit area are coming to terms with the lack of racial diversity in their organizations. Huron-Clinton Metroparks released a plan to make their parks more welcoming and accessible...

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Media Network)

Samantha Melamed

8 August 2020

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Philadelphia's PlayStreets program is a nearly 60-year-old program that began as a meal service during the summer "hungry season," when school lunches are not served, but has evolved into a summer camp on 300 city blo...

Montana Free Press

Alex Sakariassen

11 June 2020

District of Columbia, Washington, United States

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Over 3000 Words

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Throughout the United States, health care professionals are beginning to prescribe "time outdoors" as a remedy for physical and mental illnesses in place of pharmaceuticals. Due to the stressors caused by Covid-19, th...

Choteau Acantha

Melody Martinsen

6 June 2020

Bozeman, Montana, United States

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A group exercise class known as StrongPeople is helping senior citizens in Montana find community and improve their health through progressive strength training. Participants have reported positive results, while stud...

Borderless Magazine

Ata Younan

28 May 2020

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Senior citizens from the Assyrian community living in Chicago have relied on a motorcycle club for care packages as well as friendly visits from someone who speaks their language. With health guidelines and coronaviru...

Next City

Cinnamon Janzer

7 May 2020

Cleveland, Ohio, United States

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Under 800 Words

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PNC Fairfax Connection is a community center run by PNC Bank but separate from its corporate services. The center is free and accessible to all, was built with community-focused design, and seeks to build strong comm...

WUFT-PBS

Christine Guerrero

Kayla Price

Hannah Rarick

11 April 2020

Gainesville, Florida, United States

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As a response to COVID-19, Florida closed its state parks, but in Gainesville, they’ve kept a number of city-owned ones open. Among those open is Sweetwater’s Nature Center, which cites the natural spaces as crucial f...

Next City

Zoe Sullivan

9 April 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has approved a new scoring system to prioritize parks that are most in need of an investment, from the limited funds available, based on equity measures such as race, income, ...

Next City

Julia Hotz

9 April 2020

New York, New York, United States

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As cities in the U.S. are placed under various degrees of lockdown, organizations are working to virtually bring "environmental education and recreation to viewers, from the comfort of their homes." Although virtual w...

Cronkite News - Arizona PBS

Rachel Phillips

Jonathan Messiha

Sara Abbott

12 February 2020

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

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To help veterans struggling to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder, the Phoenix VA Health Care System has started using sports and outdoor recreation as a means of therapy. Although it does not replace medications...

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