Tag: Outdoor

Milton adopts outdoor recreation plan to guide park improvements | Local News

Milton now has a five-year vision for its city parks.

The 70-page Comprehensive Outdoor Recreational Plan, adopted by the city council Oct. 20, lays out the recreational facilities the city has and improvements it hopes to make along with their estimated timelines and costs. 

In a memo to the council, Administrative Services Director Inga Cushman said the plan enables the city to apply for state and federal grants.

City Administrator Al Hulick said the plan is the culmination of months of work by Cushman and the city Parks and Recreation Commission.

The document is designed to offer a “clear picture of where we want to go and where we aspire to be,” Hulick said at the Oct. 20 meeting. “If you look at the Crossridge Park plan, that plan’s been around for a number of years, and we have slowly kind of ticked off some of those things … but some of those things, boy, we sure would love to have them, but we might never get there.”

Still, “it’s good to have a place to look into the future,” he said.

Mayor Anissa Welch said she appreciates having structure.

“This will help guide future councils,” she said. “When we are all not here, there will be a living document to guide decision-making, and I think that’s something that we as a council have not had.”

According to standards developed by the National Recreation and Park Association, Milton has more than enough parkland—more than 117 acres—to meet recreational space standards for its estimated population through 2040.

Even as population estimates rise in Milton—from 6,138 residents in 2020 to an estimated 7,517 in 2040—available parkland remains at a surplus.

Milton currently has 16 developed parks and the Story Gardens, which are under development at the city’s public library. Schilberg Park, the largest park, is owned and operated by the Milton School District.

Here is an inventory of city parks and proposed improvements:

  • Central Park, 201 Hilltop Drive, 10.5 acres. Features include a softball diamond, tennis courts, bleachers, warming house, play structure and an ice rink in winter. Recommended improvements include paint, blacktop repair and the addition of wheelchair seating around the bleachers.
  • College Green, Columbus Street, a 1-acre underdeveloped park formerly part of the Milton College campus. Recommended improvements include more benches and picnic tables, repairs to a rock wall and stairs on Columbus Street, outdoor artwork, signs, and a gazebo or other shade structure.
  • Crossridge Park, 1122 Parkview Drive, 43 acres. Park and nature conservation area has a prairie, walking trails, two playgrounds and an open area used by Milton Youth Football. Recommended improvements include a pavilion with restrooms, shade trees, blacktop or gravel on the north parking lot, a drinking fountain and more playground equipment.
  • FFA Park, South John Paul Road, a 1.5-acre underdeveloped park used for youth football practice. Recommended improvements include more picnic tables and entrance improvements.
  • King Park, 2214 Hilltop, 8 acres. Amenities include a disc golf course and bleachers. Recommended improvements include updated signs, picnic
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Federal Transportation Policy Agenda Outlines Strategy To Create Access To Jobs, Mobility And Outdoor Recreation

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As election results continue to come in, federal policymakers are already looking to the year ahead when the next Congress and the White House will be tasked with the country’s economic recovery and reauthorization of the nation’s federal transportation bill. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and PeopleForBikes today released a federal agenda to guide policymakers, detailing the policy changes and resources needed to maximize the benefits of the nation’s trails, walking and biking networks, providing equitable access to jobs, mobility and safe places to get active outdoors.

The nation’s leading organizations and companies representing trails, biking, walking, local elected officials, health, transportation reform, environment, disability rights and outdoor recreation have signed on in support of the agenda as an essential part of the nation’s transportation system, and as a key component of any economic stimulus and climate legislation.

RTC and PeopleForBikes will host a joint webinar on Nov. 10, from 1 to 2 p.m. EST, to discuss strategies for implementing the agenda based on election outcomes. Members of the press can register here.

“This year has found more Americans than ever walking, biking and using trails, accelerating a growth in trail use, outdoor recreation and active transportation that has been building for years,” said Kevin Mills, vice president of policy for RTC. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to work with federal policymakers to put Americans to work building the strategic connections that enable healthy and resource-saving habits, unlocking billions of dollars for the U.S. economy.”

“Our nation needs smart federal policy that supports the record number of Americans relying on bikes, trails and active transportation infrastructure to move efficiently and recreate responsibly. We’re asking to increase funding for connectivity and safety while strengthening the focus on climate change and mobility,” said PeopleForBikes CEO Jenn Dice. “We look forward to working with all our industry members, advocacy partners and federal policymakers to keep the bike boom rolling in 2021.”

At this moment of pending transition in the federal government, the policy agenda outlines the transformational investment in connected active-transportation infrastructure necessary to sustain and grow the boom in bicycling, walking and trail use; create good jobs; and meet the mobility needs of underserved communities and historically disinvested populations.

Key elements of the agenda follow, with an emphasis on strategic investments in programs that prioritize the connectivity of trails, walking and biking, which will have the potential to generate an estimated $138 billion per year in economic benefit to the nation:

  • Prioritize investments that link existing trails, bikeways and sidewalks into functional networks that connect people to key destinations and communities to each other, with special attention to the needs of underserved communities. Competitive federal active transportation connectivity grants are essential to enable communities to establish low-stress routes to walk and bike.
  • Through reauthorization of the FAST Act, double dedicated project funding for trails, walking and biking through Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program to ensure resources are available in every city and state to meet
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Federal Transportation Policy Agenda Outlines Strategy To Create Access To Jobs, Mobility And Outdoor Recreation | News

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — As election results continue to come in, federal policymakers are already looking to the year ahead when the next Congress and the White House will be tasked with the country’s economic recovery and reauthorization of the nation’s federal transportation bill. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) and PeopleForBikes today released a federal agenda to guide policymakers, detailing the policy changes and resources needed to maximize the benefits of the nation’s trails, walking and biking networks, providing equitable access to jobs, mobility and safe places to get active outdoors.

The nation’s leading organizations and companies representing trails, biking, walking, local elected officials, health, transportation reform, environment, disability rights and outdoor recreation have signed on in support of the agenda as an essential part of the nation’s transportation system, and as a key component of any economic stimulus and climate legislation.

RTC and PeopleForBikes will host a joint webinar on Nov. 10, from 1 to 2 p.m. EST, to discuss strategies for implementing the agenda based on election outcomes. Members of the press can register here. 

“This year has found more Americans than ever walking, biking and using trails, accelerating a growth in trail use, outdoor recreation and active transportation that has been building for years,” said Kevin Mills, vice president of policy for RTC. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to work with federal policymakers to put Americans to work building the strategic connections that enable healthy and resource-saving habits, unlocking billions of dollars for the U.S. economy.”  

“Our nation needs smart federal policy that supports the record number of Americans relying on bikes, trails and active transportation infrastructure to move efficiently and recreate responsibly. We’re asking to increase funding for connectivity and safety while strengthening the focus on climate change and mobility,” said PeopleForBikes CEO Jenn Dice. “We look forward to working with all our industry members, advocacy partners and federal policymakers to keep the bike boom rolling in 2021.”

At this moment of pending transition in the federal government, the policy agenda outlines the transformational investment in connected active-transportation infrastructure necessary to sustain and grow the boom in bicycling, walking and trail use; create good jobs; and meet the mobility needs of underserved communities and historically disinvested populations.

Key elements of the agenda follow, with an emphasis on strategic investments in programs that prioritize the connectivity of trails, walking and biking, which will have the potential to generate an estimated $138 billion per year in economic benefit to the nation:

  • Prioritize investments that link existing trails, bikeways and sidewalks into functional networks that connect people to key destinations and communities to each other, with special attention to the needs of underserved communities. Competitive federal active transportation connectivity grants are essential to enable communities to establish low-stress routes to walk and bike.
  • Through reauthorization of the FAST Act, double dedicated project funding for trails, walking and biking through Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program to ensure resources are available in every city
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Need for downtown diversity, infrastructure improvements, outdoor recreation noted at Hallowell forum

HALLOWELL — City residents have their priorities in order: They want officials to improve the diversity of downtown businesses, improve infrastructure and enhance outdoor recreation.

Vision Hallowell Vice President John Bastey speaks during a Zoom Community Conversation held Thursday night. Participants discussed long- and short-term goals for the city. Image capture

Those were the topics raised during a Zoom forum Thursday night, organized by a group of Hallowell organizations seeking residents’ input. Among those who ran the forum were the city’s Comprehensive Planning Group, Vision Hallowell, Hallowell’s Community Heart and Soul planning group, Hallowell All-age Friendly Committee and the Hubbard Free Library.

After a short introduction, participants were broken up into groups to discuss questions pertaining to long- and short-term goals for the city ahead of the election which will see new City Councilors and a new Mayor elected.

During one of thegroup sessions, Judy Feinstein, a member of the city’s Planning Board, said she has heard some city residents want more diverse businesses on Water Street, aside from the places to get food and drink. That sentiment was echoed by other residents, who said that craft stores and other retail would be welcome in the city.

There was a real strong feeling that people wanted a downtown that had more than a dozen places to pick from to have a beer and a burger, to put it nicely,” Feinstein said. “The question that comes into my mind is ‘what else does downtown have to offer?’”

Ryan Gordon, a Greenville Street resident, said he would like the city’s downtown to be more family-friendly and safer for pedestrians. He said he rarely travels downtown with his family because he feels it is too automobile-centric and not safe for pedestrians.

Gordon said that problem also expands into the residential areas of the city, where cars are also “zooming through.”

It feels like a really dangerous place with traffic that feels too fast to bring a family there,” he said, advocating for better sidewalks, fewer cars and slower traffic through town. “The physical way people move about is very important.”

Matt Bear-Fowler, a Hallowell resident who said they use a wheelchair to get around, said there are some businesses they cannot access because there are steps. They said that’s an area on which the city could improve in the future.

There’s just so much that does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards,” Bear-Fowler said. “It’s too bad because it excludes a lot of people.”

Resident Judith Graber said the city should also look into the effects of climate change, because Water Street’s proximity to the Kennebec River makes it prone to flooding. Further, she supported the pocket park concept at the corner of Water and Central streets, and the larger concept of adding more green space to the city’s downtown.

Along the thread of green initiatives, Gordon said he was on the city’s new committee dealing with solar power, which has a goal to get 80% of the

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Centerville outdoor recreation business seeks indoor archery range approval in office area

CENTERVILLE – A Centerville outdoor recreation business is seeking approval for an indoor archery range in an office district.



a person wearing a costume: A Centerville archery business is seeking approval to operate an indoor range. FILE


© FILE
A Centerville archery business is seeking approval to operate an indoor range. FILE

City administrators are proposing changes to allow FAS Outdoor Company to have an indoor range for bow and arrow shooting at its 6560 Centerville Business Parkway site, an area not permitted for such use.

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The city is proposing to expand its municipal code, adding a section on the discharging of bows and arrows, currently mentioned in a section on firearms.

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The current code’s prohibition of indoor archery does not apply a “retail sporting goods supplier,” where the “archery range makes up less than 5% of the gross retail space,” Centerville records show.

Cabela’s in the Cornerstone development near Interstate 675 falls under this exception, according to the city.

FAS is also seeking a conditional use to have an archery range in an office planned development district, an area where such facilities are prohibited, Centerville City Planner Mark Yandrick said.

BUSINESS: City to forgive $3.6M KHN loan for cancer center with growing payroll, 213 jobs

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Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor recreation options during pandemic winter

At Fresh Air Experience in Ottawa, a sporting goods store that specializes in bikes in the summer and cross-country skis in winter, the demand for ski equipment doesn’t traditionally take off until the first flakes of snow have fallen.

But business is already booming, months ahead of schedule.

After record bike sales during the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fresh Air owner Jon Digney is seeing the same phenomenon with cross-country skis. He’s booking appointments for in-store shopping up to three weeks in advance.

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“Traditionally, when we transition from bikes to skis, we have a lull during October and November. The Christmas season kicks it off early December,” Digney said.

“This year, it’s already full speed ahead. We didn’t have any transition. We went straight from bikes to skis in a day.”

If there’s a silver lining eight months into the global pandemic, it’s that Canadians have embraced the outdoors.

But winter will present new challenges. While we know the importance of fresh air and movement for physical and mental health, the cold and shorter darker days will push people indoors.

Gabor Csonka, president of Calgary’s Foothills Nordic club, isn’t surprised that cross-country ski equipment is flying off the shelves. The sport’s benefits, he said, are numerous.

“You’re outdoors usually in a beautiful environment with trees and hills. Humans need to connect with nature,” he said. “And you don’t need to be in close contact with anyone, but you can still go for ski and have a conversation with someone.

“It’s just a fantastic feeling to go and ski quietly, with decent space, through the woods.”

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After seeing parks crowded with summer hikers, Csonka hopes there’s the infrastructure to handle a potential influx.

“Do we have enough parking spaces, toilets, and trails that are groomed or maintained?” he said. “That’s a challenge.”

Across the country, federal and municipal governments are still hammering out winter plans.

The City of Toronto’s ActiveTO program of road closures was extended into October because of its popularity. Now, Toronto will switch gears to promote its toboggan hills, snowshoeing trails, and the city’s 50-plus outdoor ice rinks.

“Embrace fall, embrace winter,” said Howie Dayton, Toronto’s director of community recreation. “There’s so many great things to explore outdoors in Toronto, so it’s a chance to really connect with nature this fall and winter and try some outdoor sport and outdoor activities that you’ve never done before.”

Precautionary measures around issues like skate rentals at the popular Nathan Phillips Square rink are still being ironed out.

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Quebec continues to be Canada’s COVID hot spot. And with the situation evolving, Montreal has prepared various scenarios to enable residents to enjoy outdoor activities safely, the city said in a statement.

“For the time being, and provided that all conditions remain unchanged, only individual outdoor activities will be promoted,” the statement said, listing hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and skating.

A busy summer gave Blue Mountain Resort staff

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DEC obtains 525 acres in North Collins for wildlife management and outdoor recreation | Local News

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The state Department of Environmental Conservation has acquired 525 acres in the Town of North Collins for hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreation.

The property, known as the Clear Lake Wildlife Management Area, includes the 43-acre Clear Lake Reservoir and surrounding area that has mature forest, wetlands, brushland and open fields.

The unused land was transferred from the state Office of Mental Health to be managed by the DEC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife reproduction and outdoor recreation.

The lake was constructed in the 1920s as a reservoir to serve the former Gowanda Psychiatric Center. More recently, it provided water for the Collins Correctional Facility. 

“The new Clear Lake Wildlife Management Area will provide outstanding wildlife-based recreational opportunities for visitors while protecting important habitat for many local species,” Abby Snyder, director of DEC’s Region 9, said in a prepared statement.

“DEC will continue to work with our public and private partners to conserve critical parcels like this that connect our communities to natural resources,” Snyder said.

The area can be accessed on the north side of Genesee Road in North Collins, west of Route 75. The DEC recently installed two parking areas to improve public access to the site.

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outdoor swimming pool splits alexis dornier’s ‘bond house’ in two in bali

located on a lush green plot in ubud, bali, alexis dornier’s ‘bond house’ is a private residence split in two by an outdoor swimming pool area. a cross diagram defines the home’s spatial organization, with different elements intersecting to create zones for gathering and recreation throughout its two levels. the pool area forms the dominating main axis of the building, splitting the living room into two living spaces.exterior with round window in alexis dornier's 'bond house' in baliall images by KIE

 

 

alexis dornier has designed ‘bond house’ as a non-intrusive building that frames its natural surroundings without obstructing the eye, that is left free for gazing. the approach to the residence leads straight onto the pool area, which forms the main axis of the project, and, together with the living room spaces, the main gathering level for its residents. the sculptural spiral staircase in the pool area connects to the vast roof terrace, from which one can enjoy views of the surrounding rice fields as well as of the pool area below.

 

‘the cross is one of the oldest diagrams of space organisation in architectural history,’ explains the bali-based architecture studio. ‘”bond” is designed through the interplay of intersecting elements coming together to shape planefields for gathering and recreation on all levels – a junction that unifies elements traveling in all directions.’

front view of the entrance and pool area in alexis dornier's 'bond house' in bali

 

 

the slab, which is seemingly hovering above the pool, has large openings that provide views from the roof terrace back onto the pool. a curtain wall façade wraps the two living rooms, creating very little visual barrier to the outside. a collection of remarkable furniture pieces, the sculptural kitchen and dining table complete these spaces, while the wooden ceiling adds warmth and creates a distinction between interior and exterior.pool area with roof terrace in alexis dornier's 'bond house' in bali

 

 

below the main level, the ground level of the house encloses five bedrooms, which have access to the living room spaces through voids that hold stairways. all rooms can also be individually accessed from the outside, and without having to go through the living rooms they form the pedestal for upstairs. chosen materials amplify the seamless continuation of the outside, such as sukabumi stone, which defines all hard surfaces as conceptual fossilization of the jungle.sculptural spiral staircase in the pool arearooftop terraceoutdoor swimming pool splits alexis dornier's 'bond house' in two in balioutdoor swimming pool splits alexis dornier's 'bond house' in two in balioutdoor swimming pool splits alexis dornier's 'bond house' in two in balioutdoor swimming pool splits alexis dornier's 'bond house' in two in bali

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How technology is helping to reshape fitness and outdoor recreation

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people increasingly have turned to exercise as a way to relax and recharge—often in droves. Yellowstone National Park, one of the crown jewels of the National Park Service, recorded its second busiest August ever as nearly 900,000 visitors passed through its gates.

But as with most everything in the COVID era, the usual rules don’t apply when it comes to staying active, whether hiking to Old Faithful or just working up a sweat at home. At this year’s Fast Company Innovation Festival, a panel discussion presented by Booz Allen Hamilton explored how digital innovations are helping to reshape recreation today, and in the years to come. Here are five key takeaways from the event:

1. Trip-planning goes digital

Forget poring over guidebooks and asking friends for their favorite hiking trails. Julie McPherson, executive vice president of digital solutions at Booz Allen Hamilton, says planning an outdoor adventure often starts with pulling out a smartphone. Booz Allen serves as innovative partner and main contractor to the federal government’s Recreation.gov service, which helps people find outdoor activities ranging from backcountry camping to ranger-led tours. The site’s mobile app was downloaded nearly 500,000 times during a three-month span this spring—more than the total downloads in all of 2019. “We’re all used to doing mobile,” McPherson said, “but we’re seeing so much more volume…whether it’s actually making reservations or just getting access to information.”

2. Slowing down, tuning in

As COVID-19 ground regular routines to a near-halt, many people found themselves with much more free time. Kristen Holmes, vice president of performance at WHOOP, which makes a wearable device that tracks fitness, sleep, and other physiological data, decided to embrace it. She has spent more time with family and has a renewed focus on her physical health. “I’ve just been trying to be more aware of the signals that my body is giving me,” Holmes said. “I want to make sure I create space for that during the day.”

Holmes is not alone. While the consensus assumed that COVID lockdowns would lead to less-than-savory habits, WHOOP collected data that showed the opposite: users were sleeping better, exercising more, and improving their cardiovascular fitness. “These are really crazy times,” she said. “We actually saw our cohort get healthier during this time of uncertainty and unrest.”

3. Outdoor retailers have had to adapt

These days, many people are embracing outdoor activities for the first time. Doing that is a process—from looking for inspiration and planning trips to getting kitted out with the necessary gear. Outdoor retailer REI has worked to make the purchasing process easier and safer for customers, from contactless pick-up at stores to more bespoke offerings, such as virtual outfitting and scheduled consultations with gear experts. “They can get the time they need with an expert to talk them through [the process],” said Christine Putur, REI’s executive vice president of technology and operations. “We’re very obsessed about removing friction from that cycle.”

4. Tech tools will help

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Simplot opens 10,000 acres to outdoor recreation | Community

Boise — The J.R. Simplot Company announced in a press release it has partnered with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to open approximately 10,000 acres of the company’s private property in southeast Idaho’s highlands for hunting, fishing and recreation use. This opportunity comes through the property’s enrollment in IDFG’s ACCESS YES! program, administered by IDFG in cooperation with landowners, ACCESS YES! provides guidelines for access, specifying any restrictions on the enrolled private property.

The Simplot 10,000-acre enrollment is known as the Aspen Range and comprises five major parcels of property located within two Game Management Units. One large parcel is along the Ninety Percent Range northwest of Soda Springs, which is within Game Management Unit 72. The remaining properties are located in Game Management Unit 76 east of Soda Springs. These properties are located in Trail Canyon, Slug Creek, Diamond Creek, and between Sulphur Canyon and Swan Lake Gulch.

Chad Gentry, Simplot director of mining, says the ACCESS YES! enrollment is a nod to the importance of hunting and outdoor recreation to Idaho residents.

“I grew up hunting with my father and grandfather, and now I continue that tradition with my wife and sons”, Gentry said. “Outdoor recreation is part of the DNA of most of us in southeast Idaho and allowing open access to Simplot’s private property will continue that multi-generational cultural tradition that is so important to many families here.”

The J.R. Simplot Company has been active in phosphate mining in Caribou County since the 1950s starting with the Conda Mine north of Soda Springs. In 1983, the company developed a mine on the east side of Webster Ridge of the Caribou National Forest known as the Smoky Canyon Mine; it will continue to produce phosphate ore for approximately 15 more years. Earlier this year, the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management approved the company’s new mine plan which will be developed along the Dairy Syncline in the Slug Creek area.

The phosphate ore from the Smoky Canyon mine is critical to the production of fertilizer that ultimately helps put food on the tables of a growing population. The ore is crushed into fine particles at the mine, mixed with water, then pumped through an 87-mile buried pipeline to the company’s fertilizer manufacturing facility in Pocatello. The company’s new mine project at Dairy Syncline will use the existing pipeline system to transport the ore to Pocatello.

“Simplot has been a major employer and community partner in southeast Idaho since we started mining operations in 1944,” Gentry said. “Our Smoky Canyon Mine has been the sole source of phosphate for our Pocatello plant for over 30 years, and we anticipate our Dairy Syncline development will last at least that long or longer.”

Simplot’s Smoky Canyon Mine in Caribou County and the company’s Don Plant in Power County employ between 500-700 men and women

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