News Briefs

June 18, 2013 

Raleigh lands top 20 parks ranking

The Trust for Public Land this month released its annual “ParkScore” rankings, and for the first time Raleigh made the list. The City of Oaks ranked 20th out of the country's 50 largest cities, coming in right behind Milwaukee but ahead of Baltimore.

Charlotte didn't fare as well, coming in 47th out of 50, tied with Indianapolis. Minneapolis took first place in the survey.

The rankings and scores in ParkScore are based on three factors: how many residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park; how much parkland a city has; and the number of playgrounds and park spending per capita.

Raleigh got high marks for the size of its parks, with 14 percent of the city's land dedicated to parks. But only 54 percent of Raleigh residents can walk to a park within 10 minutes from their home.

“The ParkScore rating is an excellent tool that helps us identify areas of success as well as improvement,” Raleigh parks director Diane Sauer said in a news release. “This rating is consistent with preliminary data we are receiving from citizens engaged in our system plan process, who have identified access to parks as a priority. This information will be extremely valuable for future planning and development of the Raleigh Parks System.”

It's Raleigh's first year in the rankings because The Trust for Public Land expanded the evaluation from the 40 biggest cities to the 50 biggest cities. According to Census data, Raleigh is the 42nd largest city in the country. Staff writer Colin Campbell

SPCA names Lamb interim executive director

Mondy Lamb has been named interim executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Wake County.

Mondy has served with the SPCA since 1999 as marketing director, spokeswoman and most recently as development director.

“I am excited to lead the SPCA during this period – this transition time is an amazing opportunity to make the SPCA mission and organization open to more people by encouraging community feedback,” Lamb said. “Now is a great time for us to listen. Plus we need community support more than ever to tackle urgent issues that face our organization.”

During the organization's transition period, the SPCA will host a number of community response meetings where the public can provide feedback and discuss their hopes on the future direction of the organization. The first community meeting will be at 6 p.m. July 16 at the SPCA Curtis Dail Pet Adoption Center, 200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh.

“We want to hear what our community is concerned about in order to help determine how we can be more effective for the animals and people in this community,” Lamb said. From staff reports

Franklin SPCA wins $10,000 grant

Best Friends Animal Society, in partnership with PetSmart Charities, has awarded a $10,000 grant to the SPCA of Franklin County for the SNIP Fund.

“This grant project will help address one of the critical components in the homeless pets issue,” said Ellen Gilmore, manager of Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Network. “By helping families afford to spay/neuter their companion animals, we can make a significant impact on the number of unwanted litters that are born each year.”

“This grant means that we can add this low-cost spay/neuter project to our efforts this year to reduce the number of unwanted litters,” Franklin SPCA

President Rebecca Rodgers said. “Our goal is to perform 400 of spay/neuter operations over the next 12 months. We appreciate Best Friends and PetSmart Charities support to make the SNIP Fund a great success.” From staff reports

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