Innovation Guide - 2022 - 13

league is backed by the Tampa Bay
Sports Commission, which supplies
funding and helps to create additional
relationships. The James Haley Veterans'
Hospital and Wounded Warriors
Abilities Ranch enhance outreach efforts
to engage more veterans.
HCAS staff work with Move United,
the governing body for USA
Wheelchair Football, to secure grants,
purchase equipment, receive training
and plan tournaments. Staff also partner
with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
who provide gear, marketing and fundraising
support, and the team name.
Program Impacts
In its first season, the HCAS wheelchair
football program provided access
to the sport to 25 people with
disabilities. Since 2020, attendance
has increased by 200 percent.
One of the goals of the program was
to serve veterans, and the program's
has been
successful. The makeup of the team
comprises 40 percent veterans, and
the relationships with the James Haley
Veterans' Hospital and the Wounded
Warriors Abilities Ranch will help continue
to increase veteran attendance.
What's more,
express the positive impact the sport
has had on their social and emotional
Looking to the Future
financial support and
staff training will serve to ensure the
HCAS wheelchair football program
continues to be a success. HCAS has
demonstrated it is a reliable partner
that provides a high level of service,
and its relationship with Move United,
the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and
others continues to grow, providing
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | 2 0 22 INNO V AT ION GUIDE | Parks & Recreation
greater support and resources to help
expand the program.
HCAS staff also have been creating
plans for sustained funding for
the program. The department recently
created a sponsorship coordinator
position, which focuses on building
public-private partnerships to raise
funds and increase program support.
Additionally, HCAS works closely
with the Friends of the County Parks
and Recreation, which assists with
fundraising and volunteer support.
Innovation in Conservation
- Forest Preserves of Cook
County (Illinois), Palos
Preserves Urban Night Sky
After a report was released revealing
that Chicago is the most dangerous
city in the country for migratory
birds due to light pollution, the Forest
Preserves of Cook County (the
Forest Preserves) worked with the
Adler Planetarium to develop a plan
to convert all indoor and outdoor
lighting to meet the recommendaThe
Palos Preserve system emits
almost 1,000 times less light than
downtown Chicago, with four times
as many stars visible in the night sky.
tions of the International Dark-Sky
Association (IDA). Today, the Palos
Preserve system - a 6,662-acre area
just 15 miles from downtown Chicago
- emits almost 1,000 times less
light than downtown Chicago, with
four times as many stars visible in the
night sky as in the city.
The Forest Preserves will provide
public access at night to select locations
within the Palos Preserves and
will host dark sky-related events and
activities throughout the year, most
of which will be no cost to attendees.
What's more, the Adler Planetarium's
Far Horizons program improves the
ground observing networks designed
to collect data on light pollution while
engaging " teen stratonauts " from
diverse communities in the Chicago
region. And while the Forest Preserves
is in the process of completing retrofits
to conserve energy and meet the lofty
standards of the IDA in order to protect
the nighttime environment, Adler
Planetarium staff and the stratonauts
participate in lighting inventories and
output audits to support this work.

Innovation Guide - 2022

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