Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) issued the following statement announcing the decision to cancel the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference:
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, NRPA has stood with the field of parks and recreation in addressing the outbreak by assessing risks and interpreting the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The health and safety of our members, the park and recreation community and our staff remain NRPA’s top priority, and after much consideration, we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.
We recognize that physical distancing is paramount to preventing the spread of this highly infectious disease, we have listened to the concerns from leading health experts along with federal, state and local government officials, warning against hosting large, in-person gatherings, and we have determined that cancelling the event is the only prudent decision that protects the health of our community.
NRPA will, however, move forward in two important ways. First, the 2020 Parks Build Community project at Grand Avenue Park in Orlando will be completed. We remain dedicated to our partnership with the City of Orlando Families, Parks and Recreation Department (OFPRD) and our generous corporate donors to complete the renovation of this 12-acre park. NRPA recognizes how important this park is to the community and the people it serves. Rest assured that this project is moving according to plan.
Although we have cancelled the physical conference, NRPA is committed to the professional growth and ongoing development of park and recreation professionals. And so, we will pivot to designing a virtual conference that will enable us to provide education sessions, product spotlights and networking opportunities, making the conference as inclusive as possible. We will share more details as they become available.
As always, NRPA proudly supports the park and recreation community and will continue to provide you with the critical information and resources to help you thrive during these challenging times.”
For more information, visit the NRPA Conference website, which will be updated as more information becomes available, https://www.nrpa.org/conference/