This website uses cookies and similar technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you accept our use of cookies and similar technologies,Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Sep 10 2019 - 05:12pm
Learning from Parks: A New Everett Cafe Book Display

"Nature is such an indefatigable teacher!"

-- Roberto Burle Marx, Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx

As I stroll through Kensington Gardens on a recent trip to London, I can't help but think how much a park tells us about the city in which it is lodged; truer to say, that the character of an urban park, rather like a living museum, mirrors the nature of the people who reside or even visit there. I pause at the Italian fountains and wild parakeet trees, visit the imposing Royal Albert Statue and sweep of Royal Palace, stroll along the memorial dedicated to Princess Diana, and eventually stumble upon students swinging in a trapeze. I experience a public, yet stately, almost quirky English space alive with many spoken languages -- Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Mandarin, to name a few.

Shared spaces offer insight into recreation, leisure, and our socio-cultural fabric. A data visualization project titled A Million Walks in the Park, by Wenfei Xu and team, uses mobile GPS data and open source data from the New York City Parks and Recreation Department to extract individual trips within each park from mobile phone users and generate spatial-temporal information, like travel speed, trip duration, hotspots, number of visitors, and shared experiences. Take a look at the visualization for Central Park, and see how it is being used during select periods of time for walking, running, and other activities.

Learning From Parks explores the urban park as a metaphor for the acquisition of knowledge and importance of social infrastructure. The display draws attention to the history, design, and politics of New York City parks, especially the iconic Central Park, our nation’s first major landscaped public park, inspired by reformers who sought to improve public health and strengthen civil society.

We offer an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between city parks and urban schools, with inspiration drawn from Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People (New York: Crown, 2018); Michael Graner’s The Urban Park As An Educational Asset: A Preliminary Exploration (New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1976), and John Fischer’s The School Park (Washington, D.C: U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education, 1968). Creating community; building mutually-beneficial relationships between schools and parks; and desegregating schools are intertwining themes in the broad educational landscape. We hope to encourage socially conscious modes of teaching, as well as play and creativity in the learning process.

On display through mid-October, Learning From Parks is curated by library staff and designed by Edlab Studios. Books may circulate for two weeks at a time. For more details on the design process, please check rhizr.

Tying in with New Student Orientation and the parks theme, is A Stroll Through Multidimensional Learning Space, on Monday, September 16th and Tuesday, September 17th, from 4-5pm in the Smith Learning Theater, Fourth Floor of the Gottesman Libraries. Please join us to explore facets of self-directed learning in the Library, Library tools, and your future in the learning sector!

Books on Display:

Rinaldi, Bianca Maria and Puay Yok Tan, eds. Urban Landcsapes in High-Density Cities: Parks, Streetscapes, Ecosystems. Basel: Birkhäuser, [2019].

Cafe SB476.4


Cranz, Galan. The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Park in America. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989, c1982.

Cafe SB482.A4 C73 1989


Degraaf, Donald G.; Deb Jordan and Kathy DeGraaf. Programming for Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Services: A Servant Leadership Approach. 3rd ed. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, c2010.

Cafe GV181.43 .D44 2010


Dustin, Dan and Tom Goodale. Making a Difference in Academic Life: A Handbook for Park, Recreation, and Tourism Educators And Graduate Students. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, 2007.

Cafe LB2331.44 .M34 2007


Harnik, Peter. Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities. Washington, DC : Island Press, c2010.



Heineken, Liz Lee. Outdoor Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments for the Yard, Garden, Playground, and Park. Beverly, Massachusetts : Quarry Books, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc., 2016.

Cafe GE115 .H45 2016


Klinenberg, Eric. Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life. New York: Crown, [2018].

Cafe HC79.C3 .K55 2018.


Leinbach, Ken. Urban Ecology: A Natural Way to Transform Kids, Parks, Cities, and the World. New York: Morgan James Publishing, [2018].

Cafe HT243.U62 M553 2018


Low, Setha; Dana Taplin, and Suzanne Scheld. Rethinking Urban Parks: Public Space and Cultural Diversity. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005.



Marron, Catie and Oberto Gili. City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts. New York: Harper, 2013.

Cafe SB481 .C58 2013


Miller, Sarah Cedar. Central Park, An American Masterpiece: A Comprehensive History of the Nation's First Urban Park. New York, London: Harry N. Abrams, 2003.

Cafe F128.65.C3 M55 2003


Rosenzweig, R. and Elizabeth Blackmar. The Park and the People: A History of Central Park. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1992.

Cafe F128.65.C3 R67 1992


Steenbergen, Clemens M. Metropolitan Landscape Architecture: Urban Parks And Landscapes. Bussum, the Netherlands: Thoth, 2011.

Cafe SB481 .S74 2011


Tate, Allen. Great City Parks. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY: Routledge, 2015.

Cafe SB484.E8 T37 2015


Wattchow, Brian. A Pedagogy of Place: Outdoor Education for a Changing World. Clayton, Vic.: Monash University Pub., 2011.

Cafe LB1047 .W38 2011


Wright, Amalie. Future Park: Imagining Tomorrow’s Urban Parks. Collingwood, VIC: CSIRO Publishing, [2013].

Cafe SB484.A9 W75 2013


Yazdani, Ashley Benham. A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park. Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2019.

Cafe F128.65.C3 Y39 2019


At the Everett News Cafe, you’ll find a new book collection every few weeks that relates to current affairs, education, or learning environments.

Posted in: Learning at the Library|By: Jennifer Govan|202 Reads