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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, July 05, 1908, Image 15

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1908-07-05/ed-1/seq-15/

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Sixty-sir Cities Now Provide Chil
dren's Recreation Places.
ybe jnpvemer.t to provide playgrounds for city
*ndr*n. according to recent reports, is spread-
C "^apji2!y throughout th« United States. Sixty
!d* dries* are- already conducting playgrounds,
„* '»ie oooesponaenoe received recently at the
*^,J," . . of the National Playground Asso
ciation. in this city, shows that 1 '"" other cities
-t considering the subject. Lee F. Hanmer, the
+$& representative of the National Playground
tjsoda'Jon. who has just returned from a trip
tt tie Pidflc ' •---* in the interest of the play
r-omd movement, says that the cities of Cali
f^ja have set aside recently 51.35 C.OOO for
pkygrounds. Of this amount San Francisco has
Jjjjroi-- $741,000 for sites and equipment
»sd given the playground commission $20,000
*3T maintenance this year. Oakland has decided
to rpend J500.000 for parks and playgrounds,
,3a*Asameda baa voted $125,000 for play
grounds. Pa Alto and Berkeley are also con
side-ins the establishment of playgrounds.
Not only is the number of playgrounds grow
ing but v.a;..-- of making them of greater service
are being constantly discovered. New forms of
BBBcemcnt are being added. The value of
trained '.—,-•■ for playgrounds has been
reoDFEiied in the establishment of courses of
Study in normal schools for their training.
There is a grrat dearth of teachers. Shortly a
special- committee of the Playground Associa
tion, beaded by Dr. dark Hetherington. of the
rciversity of Missouri, will issue a suggestive
course of study for normal schools and universi
ties Such courses will be of especial value to
eoDege Students, as they will open a doorway to
employment through the summer vacation at
pleasant and comparatively well paid work.
A hundred thousand persons, more or less,
avoid New York in the summer time, and a few
who are various to accomplish something by
staying in town lie back in their office chairs
tad say they can do nothing because everybody
Is •wJtef town." It is only necessary to walk
tirousrV ttutterry Bend Park to discover that
not all the bouses in the city are vacant, or at
least if they are it Is simply because every one
is in the street, endeavoring to get the draft of
& , r wtich could r.ot find its way through the in
terior maze of passages and compartments styled
halls Ml rooms for want of more accurate
terns. While - ■■•■ of the youngsters playing
en the hard asphalt surface may be "out of
town" for a couple of weeks in the course of the
rjTr.mor as the guests of some fresh air fund,
Bai some at th«» others may be ilke ArdeJia, who
thought "XTawk" was the place for her. because
c! the ur.familiar and terrifying noises of the
No chimney, because no furnace, stove, or fireplace. Heat, Ii 3 ht and fuel supplied by electricity, oum Tor me •« ia y durability combined. —Cement A««.
-Cement Ac^ ■
countryside, not one of them would fail to visit
a neighboring vacant lot equipped with ap
paratus for playing games if opportunity offered.
New York has all kinds of playgrounds, rang
inrr from tho roof and basement playgrounds on
and in the sdi tolhoases to Peward Park, with its
variety of opportunities for enjoyment. In
cluded in the list in the course of a few days
win be bond several occupying vacant lots. A
half dozen will be < •;>••::, •<: to-morrow in the vari
oroughs by the ISetropoHtan Parks Asso
■ iatfon.
New York, however, has not carried the play
ground idea so far, nor made such good use of
its opportunities in this respect as have some
other cities. For instance, in some of the Chi
cago playgrounds there are fine buildings, in
which the children can play when the weather is
not favorable for outdoor sport. There are wad-
Ing pools. Children and many of their elders
may know nothing of the Kneipp cure, but re
garding the joys of dipping the bare limbs into
the cool, refreshing water of a pool or stream
there is no division of opinion. The Chicago
playgrounds also contain ball fields.
At Boston the idea has been expanded until it
includes people of all ages. This is styled mak
ing parks an aggressive social factor. The city
provides seaside parks where adults, as well as
children, can get a whiff of sea-cooled air and
an opportunity to bathe in the surf at a cost not
exceeding the trifle charged for the use of towel
and suit. This year Boston will add to the twen
ty-seven parks, comprising three hundred acres,
which are used as playgrounds, twenty-eight
others, to be under the direction of the Board of
Education. The sum of $00,000 will be expended
on them.
In New York some of the small parks axe
equipped with gymnastic apparatus for persons
of all ages, but these are so small in number as
to be within the reach of comparatively few.
Mr. Bradstreet, of the Metropolitan Parks As
sociation, recently pointed out to a Tribune rep
resentative a number of things which he be
lieved could be done by the city at small expense
tr> make several of the parks much more service
able to the- public than at present. Mulberry Bend
I»ark, he said, hardly did more than serve as an
open space. Once a week a band concert is
given. The public, however, is confined to the
walks, the slender supply of green grass, which
is, perhaps, of less value than space for the full
exercise of the bodies of the men. women and
children who find shelter in the crowded build
ings of the neighborhood, being kept Inviolate.
The erection of great awnings which would pro
vide shade would be a great boon to mothers and
children. The small park at Ooriears Hook,
which was intended to be a riverside park, fails
to serve Its purpose, because a "ramshackle
fence, which could be removed for $499," .-huts
off the park from the waterfront and serves as
a rendezvous for a line of trucks. Only by tak
ing seats on the trucks can a person se< the
river at night from the park. The excuse given
f.<r not compl-ting the rark as planned, Mr.
Bradstreet says, is that the city has no money,
but only a small sum would be needed t • re
move the fence, and thus add materially to the
enjoyment <>f the people while they an- waiting
for the final Improvements. The front >•:" the
Harlem Kiv.-r. Mr. Bradstreet thinks, might be
filled in to the bulkhead line, and water parks
provided m this way. This would make it m ire
feasible to furnish boats For rowing on the l'ar
l«-m at a more reasonable fee than tv.:it charged
by private boat owners. He would also have
the city, through the lark Detartment, t:i! c
direct charge of the hiring of boats along tne
shores of Pelham Bay l':irk. inst.;id of selling
the privilege to private clubs and individuals.
There should be more sites for camp.-?.
At the present time the Park Departmeni has
stt aside space foi only one hundred and fifty
tents for these who would like to can.}- out in
Pelham Bay Park. According to Mr. Bradstreet,
applications for thi.s privilege, which is free.
have been received from six hundred would-be
campers, and the number would have been
larger had it not been for the fact that there
seemed to be no possibility of a favorable re
sponse to them. Mr. Bradstreet also thinks
there should be places designated in some of the
parks where those who bring luncheons could
.-it down to eat them. These things have been
styled aggressive social service, the Idea being
to reduce the tendency to congestion by giving
people a tast.- of the joys of another kind of life.
the life of the open air.
One of the reasons why playgrounds provided
by public effort are in greater demand in New
York than once was the case is that owners of
vacant lots have found a source of profit in the
billhoard. A billboard is an effective barrirr to
the use of a lot when it extends from building
to building.
In the desire to make every scrap of ground
count in the battle for outdoor play games
which furnish abundance of exercise, but which
could be played only on large spaces of ground,
have been adapted to the modified conditions.
One of th^se games is baseball. Most of the
rooters at a baseball gamo do not know that in
seeking amusement at the ball field they ara
gratifying Impulses which were implant'- 1 in the
bodies of tln-ir ancestors that Is, if some stu
dents <>f anthropoli gy are right. The c say th^
factors involved in baseball- striking an object
with a club, throwing a missile with fora a:;d
accuracy and running express the activities of
our progenitors, whose very existence depended
upon th-ir ability to do these things weil. This
is supposed to account in a measure for tho
pleasure obtained from the national game of
America. The modified game makes it possible
f.,r the middle-aged man who no longer enjoys
seizing upon a ball as hurl as a rock or running
thirty yards between bases to indulge some of
the inherited tendencies of his race. It does not
require a mask, a protector, mitt or glove The
sides of the diamond are only thirty-five feet
long. The ball is yielding. There are ten men
on a team, there being two shortstops. Tho
first man at the bat has the choice of running
to the first or the third base. In this way ha
has an opportunity to confuse the outfield. All
the succeeding tatters, however, must run hi
ti e same direction. A man musi stand on his
base while the ball is in the pitcher's hands.
Five Innings constitute a game. The score may
be by runs or points, each base arned being
counted :>s one point or four for a run. This
,-..,. ci s Ea id to have won a large place for Itself
; ,. Chicago. Another game is "lons ball," a
rr.odifi ation of indoor baseball.
I-, this way are the cities endeavoring to pro
vi.lr wholesome antidotes for the socially poison
on, elements of congested city life
-I tell you, Binks, what thai boy of yours
needs is a thoroughly sound thrashing."
"1 don't believe In corporal punishment."
"What? Do you mean to say you never whip
that boy, Binks?*'
"No-o." rcpUed Binks. after some hesitation.
"That is. never except In self-defence." Har
per's Weekly.
"Yes, dearest; what is it?"
"Did you get my baby sister at tho grocery?*
"Of course not. What ever put such an idea
in your head?"
"It says on the grocer's wagon, 'Families Sup
plied.' " — Judge's Library-

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