Peaceful Play Includes Children Of All Abilities

Rockville, Md.--By the time Mattie T. J. Stepanek passed away shortly before his fourteenth birthday, he had already authored many books and had become a symbol of peace. He was known by way of Larry King and Oprah Winfrey, who celebrated his life with appearances on their TV shows, and Jimmy Carter with whom he authored his final book on his dearest subject, Just Peace. Bankshot Sports are all about teaching peace through play.

Participants don’t play against one another and try to beat one another, although there is plenty of room for competition. Bankshot Sports are total-mix sports based on universal design. There is no offense and defense. A participant in a wheelchair is not at a disadvantage.

King Farm Park, built in honor of Mattie Stepanek, includes football, softball and tennis playfields, a playground and a Bankshot playcourt. The playcourts are ideal for drop-in participation for seniors, multi-generational players, and the differently-able including many wheelchair users. It’s a game symbolic of Mattie Stepanek, who took small steps from station to station in the direction of peace.


Pike Creek Turf To Grow Celebration Bermudagrass

Charleston, S.C.-- Pike Creek Turf, which specializes in golf course installation, announces it is now a licensed producer of Celebration Bermudagrass. Pike Creek’s desire to acquire a license to grow and sell Celebration stems from the performance of the grass in university studies and in real-world applications—it has finished best in research studies looking at drought resistance and recovery, wear tolerance, divot-injury recovery and shade tolerance. Celebration has been used by Nicklaus Design and other firms for golf course development. Most recently, it made the jump to the National Football League when it was installed at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For more information, visit, or call (229) 896-7581.


Heartstrings Turn On The Waterworks


I have to say that you are the best writer. I just finished reading your article in this month’s PRB (February 2009) and I am going straight home to call my parents (will probably just call them on my way home). Although I do talk with them many times a week--you make me feel guilty.

Nancy Martin


Visitor Services

Lake Metroparks

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In typing this, I have learned that it is much harder to type though weepy eyes. I have not been blessed with the gift of words as you have. I will sum up my thoughts regarding the February article as simply as I can--your best ever!

With all my regards,

Garry Thasho

Sr. Program Manager

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Where do I start? Wow. Your best column to date; made me do a lot of reflecting. What a fitting tribute to your dad; made me think a lot about my own. Keep the faith, brother, you're the best!

Richard McCaffrey

Plano Texas

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Way to make me cry at work. My dad died nine years ago this coming March. My six year-old asks the same question your son does and we tell him, “He would have loved and liked everything about you.” I enjoyed your article.

Thanks and very respectfully,

Robin Hillyer Miles

Millington, Tenn.

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Wow! Thank you so much for sharing the legacy of your father. I actually feel sad that I never had the chance to meet such a great man. Your father and many unsung fathers are what made America what it is today. The morals, values and dedication that he helped pass on to you and those around him are what will help us in this trying time. Thank you for sharing your story. You can be assured I’ll be calling my parents and thanking them for what they have done for me and my family.

Thanks again and keep up the excellent articles!

Eric M. Rutherford

Director of Parks & Recreation

Bridgeport Charter Township

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What an absolutely touching article in the February magazine. My mother has been gone now for seven years, but my dad is around and I do make a point of connecting--phone calls, lunch, etc. And I savor his stories and tell my daughters to remember them!


Dianna Kall

Public Information Specialist

Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Department

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I just wanted to let you know that I love reading your stories that are in PRB. This past story on your father was very touching. Even though I still have my dad here, I could feel your story and made me think of writing something about my dad maybe now so that he can read how that I feel about him. Keep up the great work!

Cindy Scribner

Office Manager

Huntington Parks & Recreation Department

Huntington, Ind.

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What a blessing...

When I read your story, I realized:

· What a lucky man you are to have shared in this humble man's life.

· How fortunate I am to have a small glimpse of this man and experience the warmth surrounding this man.

· That I didn't want the story to end.

· I hope I have made even a small difference in the lives of my children and grandchildren as he has yours and others.

· This is a unique story, for not many of us on this earth have had such a compassionate man in our lives.

I would love to read a book about this man, and if you have written one, what is the name? If you haven't, I would ask why not?

Thank you.

Corinne Long-Folk

Community Programs Coordinator

Madera, Calif.


“Take 5” Minutes To Review Simple Checklist

N. Brookfield, Mass.--Sally Geldard, outdoor specialist for Quabaug Corporation, announces a five-point checklist to promote public playground safety for the upcoming spring and summer months. Sponsored by Quabaug, manufacturer of QuaBoing--an impact-absorbing rubber surfacing material--the list encourages caregivers to “Take Five” when entering a playground.

Each year, more than 200,000 children visit U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground.

Five Quick Tips for Public Playground Safety

1. Make sure surfaces around playground equipment feature mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials or have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel.

2. Prevent burns on hot metal playground equipment. Check the temperature of steel decks, slides and steps. In direct sunlight, they may reach temperatures high enough to cause serious contact burns in seconds.

3. Examine equipment for sharp points or edges to avoid scratches and cuts.

4. Check for separate play areas for ages 2 to 5 and 5 to 12 years old. And make sure that elevated surfaces in each play area, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.

5. Look for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and large rocks.

For more information, visit




27-29 British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association Symposium 2009, Whistler, British Columbia—Telus Conference Centre;


13-17 Colorado Recreation Facilities Design & Management School, Broomfield, Co.—Omni Interlocken Resort; contact Jan Van Der Sanden (720) 977-5915.

24-27 SIMA Snow & Ice Symposium, Louisville, Ken.—Kentucky International Convention Center;


30 SIMA Build A Bid Workshop, Cleveland, Ohio;


24-28 Florida Recreation and Park Association, Lake Buena Vista, Fl.--Walt Disney World Coronado Springs Resort;