Parks can be crucial

Published 4:25 am Saturday, October 28, 2017

About the discussion on amending the 2017 Bogalusa City budget at the October 24, 2017 city council meeting. There is a concerned that the tax payer’s monies should be spent as appropriated and deemed by votes of the tax payers during the perspective millage elections. Particularly, Parks and Recreation (fund Account 35-00) and its line item: Youth Recreation Program as it relates to a December 20, 2016 Resolution to Amend the City of Bogalusa Operating Budget and Capital Budget for the Fiscal Year Beginning January 01, 2017 of playground equipment for Deficient Parks in District A, District B, District C, District D, and District E at a nominal requested cost. The budget was finally revised October 20, 2017, however, not for its intended requested purpose: Neighborhood Playground equipment in deficient parks. It is imperative to support our neighborhood parks. Not to be misuse these spaces for illegal activities, but as a tool to promote the true purpose of neighborhood parks which is extremely important to quality of life as found in studies:


The Experts Agree That Playgrounds Are Essential: One study on playgrounds and their impact on the development of children ages 0-5, determined, “Playing promotes brain development and helps lay the neural grid for a successful mind through repetitive play actions that reinforce that grid.” (Duerr, 2014)


Playgrounds Have Health Benefits: Playgrounds provide a place for “full body” workouts that include exercises to strengthen the arms, legs, torso, shoulders, and so on. The cardiovascular system, circulatory system, and neurological system of the child are nurtured, too.


Playgrounds Have a Profound Emotional Impact: “Kids bully and misbehave more when they aren’t busy with better things” (Bornstein, 2011), and modern playgrounds are becoming locations where children are too stimulated to become bullies.


Playgrounds Show Kids the Value of Community: Playground advocates note that social interaction benefits society.


Playgrounds Are Not Strictly for the School’s Students: To optimize learning during and after school hours (particularly for the youngest learners) parents and communities must see “playgrounds as a public educational good, just as we do schools, libraries, and museums.” (McSorley, 2013)


Children Are Encouraged by a Playground: Playtime is not a luxury, according to author Kay Redfield Jamison, it is a necessity. (Garcia, 2013)


Kids Learn Life Skills at the Playground: Conflict resolution is a common skill learned on a playground in early childhood. So, too, are resiliency and self-advocacy … “all of which can help children learn how to develop healthy relationships and to become leaders.” (Magher, 2014)


An invitation has been extended to review the stages of preparing the 2018 City Budget, however I will obtain clarification of any conflicts prior to my involvement. In additional to city tax dollars, resources are sought. Finally, our children and entire community deserve these spaces since playgrounds is an attempt to help to make significant and brighter futures.


Gloria Kates

Bogalusa City Council, District A