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jerryking : playgrounds   7

A Whisper in an Age of Shouting
AUG. 25, 2017 | The New York Times | By ARIELLA ROSEN.

A tribute to Charles Stover.

Stover was also involved in efforts to preserve Central Park and develop more parks and playgrounds in poor neighborhoods. In 1898 he founded, together with Lillian Wald, the Outdoor Recreation League, which sponsored the construction of playgrounds as a substitute for unsupervised street play. As parks commissioner, Stover created the Bureau of Recreation, which built dozens of playgrounds in its first three years, including DeWitt Clinton Park, Seward Park and Jacob Riis Park.......So why has Stover been forgotten? Although a prominent and influential figure, he did not seek fame or fortune. In a letter to a friend in 1927, he wrote, “My real preference is to be writ in water — just such complete obliteration as the poet Keats feared would be his fate.” He never married and kept no house of his own, preferring instead to live at University Settlement. He was a very private person, prone to bouts of depression, and was known to vanish occasionally with no explanation.......Stover believed — and his life proves — that it is possible to make a difference in the world without yelling. It is easy to get caught up in the shouting of politicians, or to want simply to walk away from it all. That is why it is more important than ever to listen to the stories of those around us.

I plan to go on looking for Stover, but his bench has already taught me an important lesson: Sometimes the most powerful words are the ones that are whispered.
city_builders  New_York_City  Robert_Moses  playgrounds  Central_Park 
august 2017 by jerryking
Judging the risks in the backcountry
Feb 4, 2003 | The Globe & Mail pg. A.18 | editorial.
Becoming independent requires some assumption of risk. That is the
process of growing up. Toronto's school board, failing to understand
this, demolished its playground equipment in 170 schoolyards three years
ago without any statistical evidence of dangerousness. Hockey, Canada's
game, exposes boys and girls to the risk of serious spinal-cord
injuries, yet the game goes on.
backcountry  risks  life_and_death  life_skills  TDSB  editorials  coming-of-age  risk-assessment  playgrounds  dangers  soul-enriching  children 
december 2009 by jerryking
In praise of risk
Sep 14, 2000 | The Globe & Mail. pg. A.16 | Why expose
children to even the slightest risk if we can avoid it?

First, because it costs money. The $700,000 it cost to tear down those
Toronto playgrounds, and the $30-million it will cost to replace them,
could have been spent on something indisputably worthwhile: books, or
teachers or safe-driving programs for teenagers.

Second, some level of risk is unavoidable. Life, as they say, is a fatal
disease. If we wanted to eliminate all danger to our children, we would
keep them indoors all day and tell them to hide under the bed. We don't
do that because childhood is supposed to be fun, and part of having fun
is taking risks.

Sensible risks.

A responsible society, like a responsible parent, will do everything it
reasonably can to protect the young from real, demonstrable dangers.
What it will not do is fly into a frenzy at the slightest hint of peril.
If we don't raise our children to act that way, why on earth would we?
children  schools  playgrounds  editorials  dangers  soul-enriching  risks  childhood 
october 2009 by jerryking
Playing with nature
February 23, 2009 by RASHA MOURTADA.

Adam Bienenstock's, founder of Gardens For Living, goal is to bring children and nature together through the installation of natural playgrounds in urban and suburban Toronto. .....Forget plastic and iron. Natural playgrounds are constructed with fallen logs, trees and shrubs and are built into the ground itself. (A slide built into the slope of a hill, for example.) Bugs are intentionally introduced and musical instruments and art are incorporated into the landscape.

"Whereas traditional playgrounds might use 13% of the actual space in the playground, we use closer to 95%" says Mr. Bienenstock, who has 10 year-round employees and 15 seasonal workers.....Today, Gardens For Living works exclusively on natural playgrounds. Last year, that involved 60 projects, including consulting, installation and design projects, but the company is also involved in policy work and education initiatives.
business_development  Rasha_Mourtada  industries  landscapes  playgrounds 
february 2009 by jerryking

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