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The New York Times

Ginia Bellafante

4 September 2020

New York, New York, United States

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800-1500 Words

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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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800-1500 Words

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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 ...

Richland Source

Katie Ellington

21 August 2020

Ashland, Ohio, United States

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800-1500 Words

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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 Guardian

Jodi Helmer

14 August 2020

Asheville, North Carolina, United States

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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...

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...

Planet Detroit

Anna Clark

13 August 2020

Detroit, Michigan, United States

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1500-3000 Words

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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...

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...

WUFT

Christine Guerrero

Kayla Price

Hannah Rarick

11 April 2020

Gainesville, Florida, United States

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Under 800 Words

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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

Julia Hotz

9 April 2020

New York, New York, United States

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800-1500 Words

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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...

Next City

Zoe Sullivan

9 April 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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800-1500 Words

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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, ...

Honolulu Civil Beat

Brittany Lyte

28 January 2020

Waianae, Hawaii, United States

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1500-3000 Words

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When blight and crime took over a treasured seaside park on Oahu and police seemed unable to help, a community group reclaimed the park and made it safe again by helping the people encamped there and cleaning up the s...

The Guardian

Cassidy Randall

25 January 2020

Wyoming, United States

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800-1500 Words

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Rewilding wolves rebalances ecosystems. Following the 1970s Endangered Species Act (ESA), efforts to reintroduce wolves into the Yellowstone National Park have proven successful, helping to reduce land degradation fro...

Next City

Emily Nonko

20 November 2019

Peoria, Illinois, United States

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800-1500 Words

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Green infrastructure provides a return on investment and improves the quality of life in a community. In Peoria, Illinois, the city’s Public Works Department has piloted several green infrastructure initiatives with t...

Bitterroot

Julia Hotz

18 October 2019

San Diego, California, United States

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800-1500 Words

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Studies have routinely shown that spending time outdoors is good for health, so programs are being implemented in the United States in order to increase children's access to getting outside. From California's Outdoor ...

CityLab

Zach Mortice

11 October 2019

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

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1500-3000 Words

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After falling behind in urban planning and innovation in the 1990s and early 2000s, Oklahoma City created a limited-time sales tax called MAPS to pay for capital projects, like the new Scissortail Park. The tax consis...

Mongabay

JoAnna Haugen

10 October 2019

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States

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1500-3000 Words

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Natural Habitat Adventures, a tour company, has run the first no-waste, week-long trip through Yellowstone. With ecotourism producing millions of pounds of waste per year, the group wanted to demonstrate that doing so...

Wyoming Public Media

Rae Ellen Bichell

20 September 2019

Denver, Colorado, United States

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Under 800 Words

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Researchers at Denver’s Bluff Lake Nature Center are trying a new approach to controlling the prairie dog population: birth control. While still in the experimental phase, it has shown to be effective for larger anima...

CityLab

Laura Bliss

11 September 2019

Los Angeles, California, United States

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800-1500 Words

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Several projects across the U.S. are emerging as models for how parks and green spaces can be developed in low-income neighborhoods without spurring the displacement of current residents ("greening without gentrificat...

Forbes

Christine Ro

3 September 2019

Cape Town, South Africa

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Under 800 Words

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As temperatures across the world increase, many low-income areas are being hit the hardest without anywhere to turn. In South Africa, spray parks are becoming more popular as a solution, providing an inclusive place f...

KUMN

Marisa Demarco

6 August 2019

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

Radio

3-5 Minutes

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Residents and volunteers from The Nature Conservancy, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Artful Life joined forces to create a "pop-up park" in a long neglected vacant lot in the International District of Southeast Albuqu...

Wyoming Public Media

Maggie Mullen

2 August 2019

West Thumb, Wyoming, United States

Multi-Media

3-5 Minutes

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At Yellowstone National Park, they’re renting dogs to sniff out invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels. The dogs are part of the Working Dogs for Conservation non-profit organization and have been trained to s...

High Country News

Chris Berdik

13 May 2019

Forks, Washington, United States

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800-1500 Words

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In an effort to decrease noise pollution in natural spaces across the country, Quiet Parks International is seeking to certify wildlife places that are noise-free. Using data collection, the organization is able to me...

CityLab

Allison C. Meier

13 May 2019

New York, New York, United States

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800-1500 Words

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As the monarch butterfly nears endangerment, cities across the US are integrating butterfly-friendly spaces into their urban environments. Such spaces reside in schools, firehouses, parks, and more, and they enable th...

NPR

Monica Gokey

9 May 2019

Salmon, Idaho, United States

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Under 800 Words

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Visitors to the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho can now access the wealth of information in a guidebook with the convenience of a smartphone app. The app, which contains valuable information on history, visito...

Yes! Magazine

Gabriel Furshong

9 May 2019

Helena, Montana, United States

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800-1500 Words

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Earlier this year, Helena, Montana became the first city in the United States to both remove and replace a confederate monument. A group called the Equity Fountain Project will replace the old monument with a public a...

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