BBC: Kashmir’s open-air classes offer stunning solution to lockdown

BBC: Kashmir’s open-air classes offer stunning solution to lockdown.”Every morning, students in Doodpathri, a town in Budgam district, walk past streams and bridges, and up the hill to their new classroom: a picturesque spot with the snow-capped Himalayas as a backdrop. The outdoor school is a breather for both parents and children after months of a grinding lockdown to slow down Covid-19 infections. The state has reported more than 19,000 cases and some 365 deaths.” The photography with this article is just stunning.

Idaho News 6: Gov. Little launches new Recreate Idaho website

Idaho News 6: Gov. Little launches new Recreate Idaho website. “Governor Little announced a new website to help people recreate safely in Idaho during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website is part of the Recreate Responsibly Idaho campaign that was established to provide guidances and resources for recreating Idahoans to adapt their activities to the situation.”

The City: As City Reopens, Playgrounds Within Parks Keep Green Space on Lockdown

The City: As City Reopens, Playgrounds Within Parks Keep Green Space on Lockdown. “In Midwood, Brooklyn, local kids have taken to playing on a strip of grass between Kolbert Playground’s locked gates and the sidewalk, while empty benches and open space adjacent to the play equipment remain behind lock and key. In the East Village, the sliver of green space just north of Houston Street is locked around First Park Playground. In the South Bronx, the whole block around Mullaly Park’s skate park, playground and basketball courts is locked, along with two large lawns and seating areas. As summer approaches, it’s unclear exactly when they’ll all re-open.”

Bangor Daily News: New campaign helps Maine residents plan local outdoor adventures this summer

Bangor Daily News: New campaign helps Maine residents plan local outdoor adventures this summer. “The new website… offers listings of local guides, public lands and camping options, as well as discounts on guided trips, rentals and outdoor gear, featuring local businesses that have committed to COVID-19 prevention checklists. The website also provides updated tips and resources for safely exploring the Maine outdoors.”

The Atlantic: Social Distancing Is Not Enough

The Atlantic: Social Distancing Is Not Enough. “COVID-19 has mounted a sustained attack on public life, especially indoor life. Many of the largest super-spreader events took place inside—at a church in South Korea, an auditorium in France, a conference in Massachusetts. The danger of the indoors is more than anecdotal. A Hong Kong paper awaiting peer review found that of 7,324 documented cases in China, only one outbreak occurred outside—during a conversation among several men in a small village. The risk of infection indoors is almost 19 times higher than in open-air environments, according to another study from researchers in Japan.”

Phys .org: Leopards spotted in Pakistan capital’s park as virus clears way

Phys .org: Leopards spotted in Pakistan capital’s park as virus clears way. “Leopards, jackals and other creatures living in Islamabad’s tree-covered hills have been enjoying a rare respite from the throngs of hikers and joggers that normally pack the trails. Rangers in the Pakistani capital’s Margalla Hills National Park saw animal activity increase soon after the city was locked down in March to counter the coronavirus.”

Coronavirus lockdown: Can nature help improve our mood? (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus lockdown: Can nature help improve our mood?. “While the impact of experiencing nature on our physical health is less well documented, a wealth of studies have demonstrated the positive effects of the natural world on our mental health. Even a brief nature fix – 10 minutes of wind brushing across our cheek, or the sun on our skin – can lower stress, explains Dr Mathew White, from the University of Exeter. If we immerse ourselves in beautiful landscapes, like a rich coastline or a wild forest teeming with an array of species, we feel more intense emotions, he adds.”

Arizona Senator Martha McSally: McSally, King Introduce Bill to Enhance Outdoor Recreational Access Through Digitized Mapping

Arizona Senator Martha McSally: McSally, King Introduce Bill to Enhance Outdoor Recreational Access Through Digitized Mapping. “U.S. Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Angus King (I-ME) today introduced legislation to enhance access to the nation’s outdoor recreational opportunities by digitizing mapping information like access points and permissible uses on federal public lands. Reps. Russ Fulcher (R-ID) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced companion legislation in the House.”

Mashable: The northern lights cam just turned on and it’s the perfect season for ghostly skies

Mashable: The northern lights cam just turned on and it’s the perfect season for ghostly skies. “The same live webcam site that brings you Alaska’s glorious, salmon-hungry fat bears just turned on its webcam in the northern reaches of Churchill, Canada. This town, famous for the polar bears who regularly stroll down its streets, is ideally situated to watch the glowing, emerald northern lights, aka the Aurora borealis.”

Route Fifty: Using Data to Ensure Equitable Funding for Parks

Route Fifty: Using Data to Ensure Equitable Funding for Parks. “Tactics vary from place to place, but each municipality highlighted in the report relied on data to make impartial decisions about funding. During the budget process in Detroit, for example, city officials use multiple data points—including housing prices, rates of childhood obesity, minority households, foreclosure rates and high rates of violent crime—to identify parks in every corner of the city that haven’t seen capital improvements in years, sometimes decades.”

The Ashahi Shimbun: Sublime scenes in Oze National Park on Google Street View

The Asahi Shimbun: Sublime scenes in Oze National Park on Google Street View. “Not everybody is able to visit Oze National Park straddling Gunma, Fukushima, Niigata and Tochigi prefectures, but now the magnificent landscape of two popular destinations there is available on Google Street View. The service allows viewers to take in the sights as if they were actually on site. They can also take a virtual stroll on a wooden causeway by switching images on the website.”

HeraldNet: Explore more than 100 Washington state parks at new website

HeraldNet: Explore more than 100 Washington state parks at new website. “Forks of the Sky State Park, along U.S. 2, is one of more than 100 state parks with virtual tours at [the new park site.] The tours provide 360-degree views of trails, lakes, rivers, mountains, coastal land, campgrounds, interpretive centers and vacation houses at state parks. You’ll also find an interactive map, trip reports and park information.”

Sierra News Online: New Web Site Offers ‘Virtual’ Tour of Yosemite

Sierra News Online: New Web Site Offers ‘Virtual’ Tour of Yosemite. “A new web site — Virtual Yosemite — is now offering a virtual reality (VR) tour of Yosemite National Park and its surrounding areas. The new site, which went live this summer, provides high resolution, 360-degree panoramic views from over 200 locations throughout the sprawling park.”

What3words: The app that can save your life (BBC)

BBC: What3words: The app that can save your life. “Kicked. Converged. Soccer. These three randomly chosen words saved Jess Tinsley and her friends after they got lost in a forest on a dark, wet night. They had planned a five-mile circular stroll through the 4,900 acre (2,000 hectare) woodland Hamsterley Forest, in County Durham, on Sunday evening, but after three hours they were hopelessly lost.”

Bloomberg: Sandee Wants to Be the Yelp of Beaches

Bloomberg: Sandee Wants to Be the Yelp of Beaches. “Does it have to be on an ocean? Is a sandy shore on a lake a beach? What about a peaceful river bank? For… a new site dedicated to cataloguing and rating every beach in the world, the answer is: all of the above. Its goal is to help users find the right beach—no matter their definition of the word. Its growing database includes more than 50,000 beaches in 178 countries and territories around the world, says founder Randall Kaplan.”