We talk to urban planner Tupper Thomas. She's been called a "park saver," and is known for her work restoring Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Thomas is coming to Rochester to talk about how quality public spaces can improve the health of communities. We talk to her about the value of urban parks, the challenges they face, and she shares her thoughts about Rochester's parks. Our guests: 

  • Tupper Thomas, urban planner and former administrator of Prospect Park in Brooklyn
  • Larry Staub, director of Monroe County Parks
  • JoAnn Beck, president of the Highland Park Conservancy
  • Marjorie Searl, board member for the Landmark Society of Western New York and the Highland Park Conservancy

On Wednesday, a team from Buffalo's Olmsted Parks Conservancy is visiting Rochester to share its success stories. You might not have known that Olmsted was thinking at least in part about the boulevards and squares of Paris when he created Buffalo's coordinated system of parks. And next Sunday, Genesee Valley Park is hosting the annual Olmsted Birthday Bash.

So first, a little history: who was Frederick Law Olmsted, again? And why was he such a massive figure in American parks and design? We explore the potential of capitalizing on Olmsted's work well into the 21st century. Our guests:

ALBANY (AP) New Year's Day hikes are planned at 38 state parks and historic sites across New York on Friday.

Programs include a snowshoe waterfall hike, pet-friendly treks, crossing one of the world's longest pedestrian bridges, history tours, and walks through winter woodlands. Many hikes offer refreshments.

Last year, more than 2,100 participants joined in the First Day Hikes.

In the first half of the program, we talk with Thomas Herrera-Mishler, president & CEO of the Buffalo Olmstead Parks Conservancy. He will lecture Tuesday night at the Reshaping Rochester series about Buffalo's resurgence in parks and greenspaces, specifcially after the ice storm in 2006. What can Rochester learn from our neighbors? 

Then, we talk with John Lentz, reporter from City & State about questionable campaign spending by New York lawmakers, which was brought to light by the now disbanded Moreland Commission.