• Outdoor Gyms Catching On in U.S. Parks

    by Emily Attwood October 2012

    Adult playgrounds have been popular in areas of Asia and Europe for some time, but these outdoor attractions have been slow to catch on in the United States. The Trust for Public Land brought its first Fitness Zone®, a collection of outdoor strength, cardio and balance equipment, to Los Angeles five years ago, and many California communities have also embraced the trend.

  • Blog: Something's Missing from This New Outdoor Complex

    by Mary Helen Sprecher October 2012

    I recently attended the grand opening of the tennis area of a new sports park in Maryland. It was a great fall day - bright sunshine, happy people, everyone pumped up about the possibilities for kids and adults to get involved in physical activity.

  • FIFA Program Certifies Synthetic Turf Performance

    by Paul Steinbach September 2012

    This month, a small fraternity of field inspectors will gather in Paris for an annual brush-up on the latest techniques in testing synthetic turf. The goal is to establish consistency among the entities entrusted by FIFA to conduct lab and field tests on synthetic turf product and the finished pitches that seek the world soccer governing body's stamp of approval. Using highly specialized instrumentation, FIFA-endorsed labs test everything from a fiber's melting point to a finished field's interaction with players' feet.

  • Synthetic Turf Manufacturers Advance Field Cooling Solutions

    by Emily Attwood August 2012

    Global warming debates aside, this summer was hot. And dry. By mid-July, 64 percent of the country was suffering from drought conditions, the worst since the 1950s.

  • Blog: Community Building Projects Need Formal Support

    by Mary Helen Sprecher July 2012

    A friend who lives in an urban area was telling me about her community association's idea for rehabbing a vacant lot. At present, it's just a weed-choked area, but residents have plans to turn it into a short fitness course, with stations for doing stretching, balancing and so forth.

  • Smoking Bans Take Effect in Parks and Other Outdoor Areas

    by Emily Attwood May 2012

    Aligning itself with policies already in place in New York City, New York state parks, beaches and playgrounds went smoke-free in April.

  • Blog: It's Hard to See a Downside to Hosting Tournaments

    by Mary Helen Sprecher May 2012

    Confession time: I love sports, but I'm actually more of a sports facilities enthusiast. When the pitcher starts kicking at the mound, I'm looking at the dirt and trying to figure out what kind of a blend it is. When I hear about a soccer complex, I want to know how many fields are natural and how many are synthetic. And don't even get me started on Olympic facilities. I turn into the most obsessive know-it-all alive. Nobody wants to be around me.

  • Shock Pads Make Bigger Impact in the Synthetic Turf Industry

    by Michael Popke April 2012

    One of the more popular seminars attended by industry professionals at the Synthetic Turf Council's March Spring Membership Meeting in Las Vegas didn't boast a sexy name or even a call to action.

  • Different Color Combinations Enliven Tennis Courts

    by Andrew Cohen April 2012

    Your eyes are on the athletes as they run, jump, slide, swing. The surface beneath their feet slides by, mere background.

  • Adopt-a-Park Programs Improve Community Green Spaces

    by Emily Attwood March 2012

    "Great parks make great neighborhoods," says Alex Moroz, quoting the simple philosophy driving the adopt-a-park program in Hamilton, Ont.