Mayors spend a lot of time thinking about roads, bridges, mass transit, and other systems that make cities livable. But when Boston University researchers surveyed 89 mayors last year, nearly 40 percent said that if they received a modest grant for extra infrastructure projects, they would spend it on parks or bike and pedestrian improvements….

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Crickets are shrilling on a sultry summer evening in Delaware as my daughter and I push our kayak into White Creek. The channel bends left, then right, then left again, widening as we paddle downstream toward Indian River Bay. Fish are jumping in the twilight. Snowy egrets emerge from marshes at the water’s edge, picking…

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Here’s a geography challenge: Starting in Midtown Manhattan, how can you get to deep forest by public transit in less than 90 minutes? The answer: by catching a commuter train or bus to Sterling Forest State Park, which straddles the New York-New Jersey border west of the Hudson. This 22,000-acre swath of nearly pristine woodland…

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