City drums up support for ‘Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights’
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City drums up support for ‘Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights’

October 17, 2019


THE CITY SAYS EVERY CHILD SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO CLIMB A TREE, CATCH A FISH AND RIDE A BIKE.IT’S PART OF A NEW INITIATIVE CALLED “AUSTIN CHILDREN’S OUTDOOR BILL OF RIGHTS.”KXAN’S KYLIE MCGIVERN SHOWS HOW PARKS AND REC DRUMMING UP SUPPORT, COULD BRING IN DOLLARS TO HELP KIDS. A CHILD’S CURIOSITY IS SOMETHING KATHERINE VALIAS WANTS TO CAPTURE. “YOU CAN WATCH THEM GROW, YOU CAN WATCH THEM LEARN, YOU CAN EVEN WATCH SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THEY’RE INTERESTED IN THROUGH OUTSIDE PLAY.” WHICH IS WHY PLAYTIME AT THE PARK –IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF HER PARENTING. “I TAKE HIM TO PARKS ALL OVER AUSTIN.” BUT A RECENT STUDY FOUND AREAS THAT ARE “PARK DEFICIENT.” MEANING PARKS AREN’T AS PLENTY, CREATING MORE OBSTACLES FOR CHILDREN TO GET OUTSIDE.THE ZIP CODES IDENTIFIED INCLUDE AREAS IN NORTH AUSTIN, NORTHEAST AUSTIN, SOUTH AUSTIN, AND EAST AUSTIN. THE FINDINGS CAME FROM A LOOK INTO HOW PARKS AND REC IS DOING WHEN IT COMES TO CONNECTING KIDS WITH NATURE–WHICH STUDIES SHOW IMPROVE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE AND HEALTH. SOMETHING KATHERINE ALREADY SEES…”THE MORE THAT I ACTUALLY HAVE HIM OUT AND ABOUT THE CALMER HE IS, THE MORE HE’S ABLE TO FOCUS AT HOME.” THE CITY IS ASKING THE COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT AN OUTDOOR BILL OF RIGHTS –TO IMPROVE CHANCES OF RECEIVING A $90,000 GRANT TO EDUCATE AND PROMOTE KIDS GETTING OUTSIDE — AND PARNTER WITH A SCHOOL FOR A PILOT PROGRAM. “…WORK TO HELP BUILD A CURRICULUM WHERE THE CHILDREN ARE ACTUALLY GOING OUTSIDE INTO NATURE.” WE KNOW THERE ARE AREAS WHERE THE PARKS DEPARTMENT CAN DO MORE TO KIND OF HELP THOSE CHILDREN.” CHILDREN ALREADY IN SCHOOL — AND UP AND COMERS. “YAYYYY JU JU” IN AUSTIN, KYLIE MCGIVERN, KXAN NEWS. PARKS AND REC’S FULL PLAN TO BETTER CONNECT CHILDREN TO NATURE EXPERIENCES WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL –ALONG WITH SUPPORTING SIGNATURES, NEXT MONTH. YOU CAN FIND THE LINK TO THE INITIATIVE ON OUR WEBSITE, KXAN.COM. LAST MONTH- A CITY WIDE AUDIT REVEALED SEVERAL PROBLEMS WITH HOW AUSTIN PARKS WERE MAINTAINED. IT FOUND THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT WAS NOT RESPONDING TO COMPLAINTS IN A TIMELY MANNER.THE AUDIT FOUND LAST YEAR- THE AVERAGE TIME TO FINISH AN EMERGENCY SERVICE REQUEST WAS ABOUT 48 HOURS.IN 2014- IT WAS 24 HOURS.THE DEPARTMENT’S NEW BUDGET INCLUDES 250-THOUSAND DOLLARS -TO IMPROVE LOCAL FACILITIES. FOR A LOOK AT HOW MANY SERVICE REQUESTS CITY PARKS, TRAILS AND FACILITIES HAVE GOTTEN- AND WHY IN RECENT YEARS- GO TO

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