A Listen Back at 2023 So Far — Episode 142

By Cort Jones | Posted on September 12, 2023

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I was recently pulling some of the Open Space Radio statistics for a presentation to NRPA staff, and while I was presenting, I kept thinking to myself, “The numbers are great, it’s important to track these kinds of metrics. But also, we have had some truly remarkable guests and amazing conversations over the course of this show, and you can’t really put that through quantitative analysis.”

So, it inspired me to do a little 2023 so far recap episode. Throughout this episode, I’m featuring little nuggets from a few episodes we’ve released so far this year until August. We’ve released a lot more episodes than the ones featured here, so if something in this episode doesn’t resonate, be sure to check out all of our previous episodes. However, these are just a few from this year that have resonated with me and continue to replay in my head.

I also know not everyone gets a chance to listen to every single episode (but for those of you who do – thank you!), so I thought this would also be a jam-packed opportunity for you to get a bunch of good stuff in one less-than-an-hour package.

I hope you find a little inspiration in one of these clips and I encourage you to go back and listen to the full episodes, which are all linked below. I can’t wait to continue sharing these stories of the impact that parks and recreation is having across the country for the remainder of this year and into the future. We have some exciting things lined up, and I can’t wait to bring you along! 

Tune in to the full episode below to hear clips from:

  • Vicky Stott (she/her), senior program officer for racial equity and community engagement at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, who discusses how racial healing is connected to love, cherishing and respecting humanity, and acknowledging others’ lived experiences. Listen to the full episode 127 here.
  • Will “Akuna” Robinson (he/him), who was the first Black man to complete the triple crown of hiking. We discuss his beginnings in outdoor recreation to heal from PTSD from his previous military experience and how we can continue breaking down barriers so everyone can experience the power of outside. Listen to the full episode 129 here.
  • Cal Dobbs (he/they), a queer transgender ultra marathoner and long-distance hiker who recently ran across the country — from California to Florida — fighting for the inclusion of transgender people in sports and access to gender-affirming healthcare. Bonus: Cal will also be joining us at the 2023 NRPA Annual Conference in Dallas, Oct 10-12, discussing youth sports equity! Listen to the full episode 132 here.
  • Mike Cimprich (he/him), the city arborist for Marion Parks and Recreation in Iowa, who was honored with Merrell’s Changing Nature of Work Award for his critical work in the city of Marion after the 2020 Central Severe Weather-Derecho, known as the “costliest thunderstorm event in U.S. history.” Listen to the full episode 134 here.
  • Daniel Hatcher (he/him), the senior director of strategic partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation, who discusses why park and recreation professionals are critical to physical, mental, and social-emotional health – and the overall health and well-being of our communities. Listen to the full episode 136 here.
  • Laine Fabijanic, the community and therapeutic recreation supervisor for City of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, who is leading a therapeutic recreation program that is bringing recreational opportunities to all members of the community, regardless of their ability, to increase quality of life for all. Listen to the full July bonus episode here.
  • Kelly Messer, PE, a project manager for Columbus Recreation and Parks, who discusses how an entire community of supportive skateboarders, and community members alike, led to the completion of the Tuttle Park Skatepark and overall park improvements. Listen to the full episode 139 here.
  • Sarah Olson, deputy director of Lynnwood (Washington) Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department, who discusses a community-driven, comprehensive park and trail capital project plan and prioritization project that the department is utilizing to center equity in its park system planning. Listen to the full episode 140 here.

Listen to the episode for the full story.


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Sponsored by:

This episode of Open Space Radio is sponsored by Niagara Water. This Summer, Niagara Water is providing communities across Texas, California, and Georgia with a chance to upgrade their local park to the outdoor space of their dreams. 9 parks are nominated. 3 will be selected to receive a $75,000 refresh. Support your favorite park daily through September 18th at NiagaraPerkYourPark.com. Niagara Water. Now that’s refreshing.