27 June 2011

Westfield Dog Bark coming soon

Westfield Dog Bark becoming a reality. Yes, that is the way we spell it. The City Parks and Recreation Commision gave us permission to lease the property known as Arm Brook as seen in this image from the City's GIS. We scouted out the park area this morning and will meet at the University on Wednesday to do some more serious planning.

For more information see our Facebook Page at:

The area we are planning is in the southern portion of the property.

26 June 2011

Monster Bash this weekend

Missed the bash this year. We were going to go, but my brother had to work and the ten hour road trip, alone, wasn't going to be fun. Oh well, maybe next year.

18 June 2011

Peaceful Stanley Park, Westfield, MA

I find a lot of pleasure in our local Stanley Park. And the remarkable thing about it is that it is a private park, open to the public free of charge. It puts the local public parks to shame, but we can be thankful that it is here!

I often walk my dog in the back woods area, called the Frank Stanley Beverage Wildlife Sanctuary. It is very peaceful.

And sometimes, like when I shot this picture, all you hear is the rustle of leaves and birds chirping. No automobile noises, no bombers from the local air base, and no lawnmowers, blowers or chain saws. ahhhhhh.

17 June 2011



that is the full name. This is the paper Rod Warnick and I have submitted for publication in the Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium Proceedings. The abstract:

Modeling supply and demand data is useful for regional outdoor recreation planning. At the statewide level, a State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) is prepared to satisfy the requirements of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). In Massachusetts, the most recent SCORP was prepared in 2006. One of the primary tasks in the preparation for this document was the updating of recreation resource inventory statewide and the development of an extensive GIS data base. For the demand side, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts utilized data collected in 1995 that emphasized usage patterns, tested satisfaction of outdoor recreation areas and evaluated unmet needs. This paper presents an example of updating SCORPS using current demographic data (US Census) and geographic supply data (MassGIS).

16 June 2011

An Act relative to geography education in Massachusetts

Funny thing here in Massachusetts is the lack of geography education at the K-12 level. That might change if S.182 passes.

An Act relative to geography education in Massachusetts found at:

If you want to support, email one of the sponsors and if you are local, contact your rep or senator!

11 June 2011

Remote Sensing and Tornadoes

NASA has always provided some great educational material for free. The Earth Observatory site is one example.

See http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=50854&src=nha for an image of the Western Mass weather event of 1 June 2011.

03 June 2011

Sustainable medical tourism in Costa Rica

Our paper on sustainable medical tourism is now available online at

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to ascertain the relative importance of sustainable tourism practices to medical tourists. Sustainable management practices have become the accepted and appropriate model for tourism. Medical tourists, those who visit a foreign country for a medical procedure unavailable at home due to high costs, timeliness or local laws and customs, are asked how important a set of sustainable management practices are in their experiences. Selected for this study are the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC). These criteria have been designed to be the minimum practices to ensure sustainability for the business as well as protect the natural and cultural resources.

Design/methodology/approach – An online survey was employed to gather the travel patterns, motivations and socio-demographics of medical tourists and to test their ranking of the GSTC on a five-point Likert scale.

Findings – Medical tourists who travelled to Costa Rica, a recognized ecotourism destination, are more likely to support some of the sustainable criteria designed to maximize social and economic benefits to the local community and minimize negative impacts, than those who travelled elsewhere.

Research limitations/implications – While the sample size is modest, this is an exploratory assessment by medical tourists of sustainable management practices.

Practical implications – Research into sustainable medical tourism practices is timely given that hospitals are not traditionally in the tourism business, but are now rapidly seeking to provide this service to their foreign patients.

Originality/value – The paper presents what is believed to be the first investigation into medical tourists' preferences in sustainable tourism practices.

02 June 2011

Tornado in Western Mass

I'll eat my words.

Over the Memorial Day weekend at a friend's picnic party, the discussion came around to being thankful that we don't live in a part of the world besieged by floods, earthquakes, wildfire, hurricanes AND tornadoes.

Sure we get them all, but generally these natural hazards are weak fortunately infrequent.

Well I eat my words, when yesterday, while we lost power for 2 hours, all hell was breaking loose 5 miles to our east.

My thoughts go out to all who were impacted by this event and any natural disaster.