Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Profile in Courage at the Bellevue Skate Park

A skate camp held at Bellevue Skate Park was featured recently on the KOMO news feature, Eric's Little Heroes.  Watch the clip by clicking on the box below, or following this link:

There has been a wealth of research lately validating the importance of play in social and brain development of children and adults.  This video is a great example of how kids can get practice learning how to face a real challenge within a safe environment.  The star of the show is Mateo, who is learning how to 'drop-in' to the skateboard ramp (the equivalent of stepping off a cliff).  As he prepares, you can imagine the questions running through his head:

Has my training prepared me for this?
Do I trust my instructor?
Do I have faith in myself?
What will people think if I succeed?
What will people think if I fail?
How will I handle what other people think?
Where can I find the courage I need to take the first step?
What do I do after I take the first step?
How much of a risk am I taking?
Is the reward worth the risk?

We've all been in these situations before where we have to dig down and test ourselves.  The practice these kids get through play will serve them well in later life.  All this while having fun, making new friends and getting great exercise at the same time.

Thanks to Mateo for letting us all share in his victory. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Other Park Blogs of Interest

Last year, when preparing to launch this blog, I researched other city- or park-related blogs to see how things were done. Since then, I've kept my eye open for good examples and thought I would share those. First, our colleagues at King County Parks have an impressive and informative blog at:

Look at their June 16, 2010 post to see how you can get into the Marymoor Concert Series for free.

At a national level, I have collected good information from the City Parks Blog, hosted by the Trust for Public Land. That blog can be found here:

For an intriguing look at Bellevue, scroll to their June 21, 2010 post highlighting a mapping analysis of popular tourist sites (many of which happen to be parks!) around the world. The analysis looks at photos that have been uploaded to the web and 'geotagged' with the location where the photo was taken. Most of Bellevue is included on the map of the Seattle area. Looking at the map, you will see that Pike Place Market and the Space Needle have a clear lead, but the Bellevue Botanical Garden shows up as well as Downtown Park and several of Bellevue's waterfront parks.

One other blog that I've found recently is The Dirt - hosted by the American Society of Landscape Architects:

This blog has a national and international focus. See the June 16, 2010 post describing a trend among major corporations to offer vegetable gardens on their corporate campuses as an employee benefit.

If you know of other interesting places on the web about parks, open space, sports, cultural arts or recreation, please share by leaving a comment or sending an e-mail.