What’s a National Park Worth to an Area? Quite a Lot, Study Shows ‘In fiscal year 2009, area national park visitor spending contributed to an estimated $44.7 million in labor income while NPS payroll contributed another $8.8 million in labor income, resulting in $53.5 million in total labor income. To put this in perspective, total labor earnings in Grand County (Utah, near Canyonlands NP) for 2009 were $192 million.’ More so, jobs created by the park visitors and the parks’ payrolls totalled nearly 2,200 in FY09, which generated a related $135.7 million in spending, the study added.” (via Adventure Journal)

A Rapidly Sprawling Community Tries to Save Itself A generally heartening (especially in the South) article about a suburb of Atlanta taking action to curtail sprawl. (via Atlantic Cities)

Is Your Fleece Killing the Ocean? …a recent study show(ed) that nearly 2,000 polyester fibers can shake loose from a single piece of clothing in the wash and, unfortunately, those tiny plastic bits are making their way into the ocean.

Just how prevalent are they? In a recent Science study, researchers took sand from 18 beaches over six continents, Clare Leschin-Hoar reports. The results?

Every beach tested contained microplastics (particles about the size of a piece of long grain of rice or smaller). Of the samples collected, nearly 80 percent were polyester or acrylic, though without further research, it’s impossible to know exactly which type of clothing—whether it’s your stretchy yoga pants or that super-soft fleece blanket—is causing the most problems.” (via Mother Jones)

Spaces of Banana Control Nearly two million bananas pass through these ripening rooms on their journey to New York consumers each week — a vital link in the largely invisible, highly specialized architecture of artificial refrigeration that has enabled the banana to become and remain America’s favourite fruit.” (via Edible Geography)

Thank You, Public Plaza Thank you public plaza, for your circuitous accessible path. I enjoy walking very slowly up these steps in a straight line while Nana scurries onto the ramp to my left and then onto the ramp on my right on her walker. Nana needed some exercise, and frankly, I needed a break from her. Thanks for that.” (via ArchDaily)

The Federal Government Wants to Bribe You to Drive to Work The federal government is essentially bribing people to drive cars. Commuters who drive to work will see their monthly parking benefit increase $10, to a maximum of $240. Meanwhile, those who choose a healthier, safer and more cost-effective alternative — transit — will see their tax benefit drop from a maximum of $230 to $125.” (via Streetsblog)

And for fun:

Google Shoot View is a pretty extraordinary web-based first-person shooter that takes Google Street View as environment. The game encourages players to explore the beauty of the world’s cities, towns and villages through 360-degree street-level imagery… and fire a M4A1 assault rifle.’” (via The Pop-Up City)


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