A Publication of WTVP

Play Everywhere!
The City of Peoria is currently a finalist in the Play Everywhere Challenge, a nationwide competition hosted by KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization which aims to turn everyday spaces into “PLAYces” to help make play easy, available and fun for kids and families—especially those living in poverty. KaBOOM! will award $1 million in funding to 50 localities to provide opportunities for creating spaces that are convenient, inviting, wondrous, challenging, shared and unifying.

With the help of the Peoria City/County Health Department and University of Illinois Extension, the City of Peoria submitted a proposal to convert three vacant lots in south Peoria to recreational, child-friendly areas. The “Lots of Fun!” initiative states that collaboration among residents will be pivotal in ensuring the prototypes are effective and fulfill the needs of the local population. Peoria’s application is one of nine Illinois finalists for the award; the winners will be announced in September. To view the Peoria application, download the Play Everywhere Playbook, or for more information, visit

Sports Analogies… Yay or Nay?
The common sports metaphors of the workplace—“Don’t drop the ball!” or “Swing for the fences,” for example—can seem like a good way to promote employee productivity. But according to some management experts, they can sometimes do more harm than good. A recent article by Bourree Lam, associate editor at The Atlantic, entitled “Against Sports Analogies at Work,” offers some perspective:

  1. Sports analogies can be a motivational booster. Sports journalist Josh Chetwynd researched the topic and found that CEOs and other high-level executives don’t generally use sports analogies on a regular basis, likely due to their focus on their companies’ overall vision over day-to-day performance. Managers, on the other hand, tend to use them frequently as a way to boost morale and provide a push for employees to exceed their goals—which can be effective.
  2. On the other hand, sports analogies can set up unrealistic expectations. The idea that additional resources and “working harder” are the primary means of success in the workplace can imply that productivity is a race, rather than a long-term, stable effort—and that can mean poor results. A study conducted by London Business School associate professor Freek Vermeulen found that companies that treated company growth as a race actually had less growth and fewer profits than companies that moved more steadily.
  3. Sports analogies can be neither good nor bad—if they are used wisely. Sanyin Siang, leadership and ethics director at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, explains that sports analogies can be appropriate for team-building situations, like when recruiting new employees who need to fit the team dynamic. Yet these analogies often imply that one is either a “winner” or a “loser”—and that, according to Vermeulen, can be detrimental in the business world, where there can be simultaneous winners or losers depending on the situation. In the end, sports analogies should be used carefully to reflect that reality and avoid the assumption that the building of an organization and the playing of a sport follow the same path to success.

Park Service Centennial
The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary on August 25, 2016… and everyone can take part! The celebration kicks off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation and historic preservation programs. The National Park Service invites you to visit to discover the public parks in your own backyard. Did you know?

Learn more about the National Park Service at, and visit to find your park today!

On the Road…
2015 was the most heavily traveled year for highway mileage in American history—with nearly three trillion miles driven nationwide—according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. That trend could continue this year, as 64 percent of people have taken—or plan to take—a road trip this summer. Check out these factoids from the Energy Information Administration and Illinois Department of Transportation:

Lacrosse & the IHSA
The oldest sport in North America—with origins dating to the 17th century—lacrosse has experienced tremendous growth statewide in recent years. The 2008 formation of the Washington Lacrosse Club jumpstarted this surge regionally, with local participation having grown from 29 area players to more than 1,000 today. With the Illinois High School Association’s announcement in April that it will become an officially-sanctioned IHSA sport in 2018, those numbers are poised for further growth.

Local teams are already preparing for the IHSA boys and girls lacrosse state finals, tentatively scheduled for May of 2018. And Washington is just one team in the Central Illinois Lacrosse League (CILAX), which also includes teams from Morton, Dunlap and Peoria, and as far away as Belleville, Champaign, Springfield and Bloomington-Normal.

The IHSA, of course, has a long and rich history in central Illinois. Peoria’s Detweiller Park has been home to the cross country state finals since 1970, and last year, the Peoria Civic Center renewed its contract to keep the boys basketball state finals in Carver Arena through 2020. Across the river, Eastside Centre is the 15-year host of the IHSA softball state finals, while Dozer Park has hosted the Class 1A and 2A state baseball finals since 2011. For more on the IHSA including lacrosse and other state series sports, visit iBi