Saturday, December 4, 2021


A new report shows, despite getting billions under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue to disrupt travelers' plans with cancellations, and Congress averts a government shutdown for now.


U.S. House passes a stopgap government funding bill; the Omicron variant is found in Minnesota; Biden administration revives the "Remain in Mexico" policy; and the Bidens light the National Christmas Tree.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Report: How COVID, DEI Impact Pennsylvanians' Relationships with Parks


Friday, October 8, 2021   

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania's parks and outdoor recreational spaces became havens for many in the state looking for safe activities during the pandemic.

A new report from Penn State professors aims to better understand residents' relationships with parks and lay the groundwork for making parks and recreation services more inclusive and equitable.

The report surveyed 600 residents from across the state, in rural, suburban, and urban areas, about diversity, equity and inclusion in parks, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on these spaces. Although most respondents said they felt a sense of belonging in their community parks, people of color reported feeling less comfortable and less represented in parks than their white counterparts.

Sammie Powers, assistant professor of recreation, park and tourism management at Penn State Abington and the study's co-author, said the answers can help build the foundation for creating more inclusivity in parks.

"I think we saw a lot more of a national awareness of the need to address some of these issues of systemic inequalities," Powers observed. "I think we saw that translate into the park and recreation world, with a lot of folks asking these questions, 'How do folks feel in our park spaces? Do they feel welcome in our parks and trails and facilities?' "

The Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society commissioned the report. Surveyed residents also said they would like to see more resources go toward increasing safety at local parks for communities of color.

On questions related to park use during the pandemic, Pennsylvanians said they felt safe being outside and using trails, but were less likely to feel comfortable with indoor facilities or attending in-person events.

Andrew Mowen, professor of recreation, park and tourism management at Penn State University and co-author of the study, said some of these findings could play an important role to ensure public health protocols are in place at Pennsylvania parks going forward.

"One of the key factors that came up was the importance of routine cleaning and maintenance, particularly at restrooms, as well as masking," Mowen reported. "To have as much of that be as clean as possible, we need to invest in that."

An upcoming report will pose similar questions around COVID-19 and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion among local officials.

get more stories like this via email
Indigenous people in Peru demonstrate against oil drilling in 2013. (Amazon Watch)


LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…

Social Issues

PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …

From left, Andrea Comer, committee chairwoman, Connecticut Social Equity Council, and Carlton Highsmith, Joseph Carbone and Fred McKinney announce the Alliance for Cannabis Equity on Tuesday in Hamden, Conn. (The Narrative Project)

Social Issues

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …

Social Issues

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …

Hastings-on-Hudson is currently the highest-ranking town in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program. (Adobe Stock)


HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021