Every day LIN staff monitor hundreds of newspapers and broadcasters, dozens of listservs, web sites, government news sources, press releases and information supplied by our site users to bring you the latest and hottest in leisure, recreation, parks and healthy living. If you have relevant news or events you would like us to publicize, tell us about it.

Obesity's global costs hit $2 trillion a year, report suggests

Added on Nov 21, 2014

A recently released report by the McKinsey Global Institute says that the global cost of obesity has risen to $2 trillion annually — nearly as much as smoking or the combined impact of armed violence, war and terrorism. The report focused on the economics of obesity, putting it among the top three social problems generated by human beings. It puts its impact at 2.8 per cent of global gross domestic product.

CBC News

New Study Finds Participation in Recreation Programs Improves Resiliency in Children

Added on Nov 21, 2014

A study by Resiliency Initiatives and Parks and Recreation Ontario released on National Child Day shows an improvement in children's resiliency during recreation programs. The study involved a questionnaire and more than 200 children, age 6-12, in recreation programs across Canada and showed improvement in core character traits such as adaptability and social connectedness.

"These traits, when fostered, can make a big difference in the way children develop and can have a huge impact on positive mental health," says Dr. Wayne Hammond, President and CEO of Resiliency Initiatives, co-author of the study. "A child's success does not depend on avoiding crisis, but rather to be able to come through it stronger. One of the findings the study revealed was the enhanced capacity of the children to develop positive social relationships – especially with a caring adult which research clearly identifies as one of the more critical protective factors enhancing the development of positive mental health in children."

Parks and Recreation Ontario News Release

City of Edmonton plans to bump up security at recreation facilities

Added on Nov 21, 2014

City administration has allotted $474,000 in the proposed operating budget to implement new security measures at facilities throughout Edmonton. This will include: beefed up supervision in locker rooms, along with contracting out security guards and peace officers to patrol facilities at peak hours.

Leah Holoiday,

Parks Forum 2015 Call for Presentations - Deadline 12:00 pm Nov 30, 2014

Added on Nov 20, 2014

The Parks Forum is a unique event that brings together parks professionals from the 3 levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) to talk about common issues and opportunities. Other delegates include allied stakeholders, NGO partners, researchers, educators and students with an interest in parks and open space. The 2015 Forum will be on March 12-14th, 2015, in Canmore, Alberta.

The theme for the Forum is “Connections”. Parks create Connections – connections with nature, connections with health, connections with other sectors and other people and even connections with our inner self.

The deadline for the call for presentations is November 30, 2014.

Why it’s time to legislate physical activity for our kids

Added on Nov 20, 2014

Citing data presented in the 2014 Active Healthy Kids Canada report card which tells us that only 7 per cent of Canadian kids ages five to 11 years are active enough to meet Canada’s basic daily physical-activity guidelines, Jim Grove talks about the need to make children's physical activity a public health priority.

Jim Grove, Globe and Mail

The future of urban parks: In the sky, beneath overpasses and along rail lines

Added on Nov 19, 2014

With cost of land and density rising in major North American urban centres, developers and urban planners are increasingly turning to the "remnant lands" of cities to build new parks and public spaces.

Marlene Leung, CTV News

Halifax recommends ending local recreation centre taxes

Added on Nov 19, 2014

Halifax councillors are trying to decide if they should change the way certain recreational centres are paid for. Many rural and suburban districts pay a local levy to operate the facilities, while most urban centres are covered through general taxes. A new staff report points out there are at least 10 recreational centres where the operating funds are raised by a local tax rate. That means an extra tax for homes in a limited area. 

CBC News

Fort Nelson trail to get a facelift

Added on Nov 17, 2014

Fort Nelson's community trail recently received $247,000 from the federal government's Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF) for improving accessibility for strollers and those with mobility issues, as well as improving parking. The municipality plans to wrap the trail around the entire town of Fort Nelson. Earlier in the year, two new lookouts were built on the trail, which now extends to over 10 kilometres.

David Dyck, Alaska Highway News

Mayors Get It: Parks Are Problem-Solvers

Added on Nov 14, 2014

Fort Worth Mayor Betsey Price says: “Great cities all have strong parks. If you look at some of our European model cities, it you look at some of our Asian cities, they all have strong parks,” she says. “In the end, for cities to be very vibrant and very strong, citizens have to be engaged. They have to know each other. They have to know a little bit about their city. They have to know their elected officials. There’s no better place to do that than get people out in a green space, on a trail, along the river, wherever it might be.”

Alexis Stephens, Next City

World Parks Congress sees Canadian First Nations land management as a model

Added on Nov 14, 2014

Members of three remote native communities are in Sydney, Australia, this week, where the World Parks Congress is holding its sixth international summit. They're part of a global movement showcasing ways to balance aboriginal rights, cultural protection, resource development and environmental stewardship.

The Congress is held every ten years to discuss biodiversity, conservation and the state of the world's parks and protected areas.

Bruce Cheadle, Canadian Press, Winnipeg Free Press