About Open Space Radio Podcast

Posted on June 1, 2017

Podcast Cover Open Space Radio

Open Space Radio is a biweekly podcast hosted by Roxanne Sutton and Cort Jones. The podcast covers the latest trends and news in the field of parks and recreation and aims to cover unique and interesting stories. 

Roxanne SuttonRoxanne spends her free time baking, drinking loads of coffee and chasing her children around her local parks and playgrounds. After deciding not to pursue a career in professional dance, she feels she has found a creative outlet that fulfills her need to perform through podcasting (bonus points that it includes talking about parks and the awesome people who run them). Roxanne lives in Warrenton, Virginia with her husband, Brodie, two kids, two cats and several coffee machines.

Cort Jones Cort has a passion for the outdoors, good books and grilled cheese (and really all food). He has finally gotten over the fear of hearing his own voice, and loves getting feedback about the show (or talking podcasts in general). He lives in Ashburn, Virginia with his girlfriend, Lauren, and their Great Dane, Indi, and cat, Timber.

To share story ideas, contact Cort Jones or Roxanne Sutton

For sponsorship opportunities related to Open Space Radio, contact Gina Mullins-Cohen

The latest episodes can be found below as well as on Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. 


You can also listen to Open Space Radio on SpotifyStitcheriHeartRadio and other podcast services.

Podcast Blackout — Black Lives Matter

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As part of the #podcastblackout, we stand firmly with all who seek justice and reform for senseless acts of racism and violence and are using our platform to protest the tragic killing of Black people and people of color across the country.

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Supporting People Experiencing Homelessness in L.A. During COVID-19 — June Bonus Episode

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On this month’s bonus episode of Open Space Radio, we talk with AP Diaz, Executive Officer & Chief of Staff at L.A. City Department of Recreation and Parks, about how he and his staff are supporting people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Why We’re Celebrating Park and Recreation Professionals This July — Episode 066

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we're joined by Tim Herd, CEO of the Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society, to talk about two very important upcoming celebrations: Park and Recreation Professionals Day and Park and Recreation Month.

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Parks and Recreation’s Next Generation — Episode 065

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On today’s episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by Mary Elise Conzelmann and Sean Fitzpatrick, two inspiring students who are pursuing their degrees in fields related to parks and recreation and will be graduating this year.

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The Importance of Collaboration During COVID-19 — May Bonus Episode

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On this month’s bonus episode of Open Space Radio, we talk with three park and recreation leaders from the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., about their collaborative response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’ve navigated the tough decisions they’ve had to make.

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Safely Celebrate Earth Day with Parks and Recreation — Episode 064

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by three dedicated and creative staff members of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department in Ohio to talk about the virtual Earth Day celebrations they have planned so their community can safely learn more about the environment around them and how to protect it.

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Celebrating 150 Years of Golden Gate Park, Virtually — Episode 063

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we're joined by Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, to talk about how his agency had to get creative in order to bring Golden Gate Park's 150th birthday celebration to people virtually.

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How Parks Can Ensure Fireflies Continue to Shine Bright — April Bonus Episode

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The April issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on this bonus episode of Open Space Radio, we’re diving deeper into the feature article, “Can Parks Help Save Fireflies?”

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The Importance of Mentoring in Parks and Recreation — Episode 062

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we discuss how park and recreation professionals are serving as mentors and the one caring adult for children who experience adversity and trauma in their households or community.

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How Park and Recreation Leaders are Addressing Coronavirus — Episode 61

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On today’s episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by three park and recreation leaders from across the country who are actively addressing issues related to the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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A Blueprint for Social Equity and Economic Prosperity — March Bonus Episode

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On this bonus episode of Open Space Radio, we’re talking with Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway, about the Chouteau Greenway in St. Louis — a $250 million greenway development project that spans 15 miles and 20 neighborhoods, with the goal of connecting communities and unifying different populations.

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Cultivating a New Generation of Diverse Environmental Leaders — Episode 060

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we chat with Angelou Ezeilo, founder and CEO of Greening Youth Foundation, about her lifelong pursuit of inclusion and equity in conservation and environmental stewardship, and the need to cultivate the next generation of diverse environmental leaders.

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How Park and Recreation Professionals Are Agents of Change — Episode 059

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On today’s episode of Open Space Radio, we sit down with Kristine Stratton, NRPA President and CEO, and Neelay Bhatt, Vice President at PROS Consulting Inc, to discuss their presentation at the Agents of Change Summit this week.

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Turning Impossible Situations Into Opportunities — Episode 058

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What started as a way for Jessica to cope with her mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has turned into multiple programs and cross-department partnerships that are enriching an entire community and making it safer.

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What Does It Take to Be a Courageous Leader? — February Bonus Episode

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we chat with Jamie Sabbach, president and CEO of 110% Inc. and Amilia Consulting USA, about true courageous leadership and why it is so important to park and recreation professionals.

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The Future of Adaptive Programming — Episode 057

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we chat with Julianne Mills of Disabled Sports USA to find out how they're improving the lives of wounded warriors, youth and adults with disabilities by providing sports and recreation opportunities.

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Roxanne and Cort’s New Year’s Resolutions — Episode 056

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It's New Year's Eve, and on this episode of Open Space Radio, we're reflecting on the past year and sharing some of our resolutions and mantras that will keep us motivated in 2020.

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Diving Deeper Into the 2020 Park and Rec Trends — January Bonus Episode

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To kick off our monthly bonus episodes of Open Space Radio, we're chatting with Rich Dolesh, NRPA's Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and author of "Top Trends in Parks and Recreation 2020" - the highly anticipated article in the January issue of Parks & Recreation magazine.

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Wow Your Community with an Epic Fireworks Display — Episode 055

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we chat with John Prue, Installation Program Director at Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR), Naval Station Great Lakes, and Wynn Cramer of Melrose Pyrotechnics about the things a park and recreation agency should consider when putting on a fireworks display.

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What Is Your Park and Recreation Life Hack? — Episode 054

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we chat with attendees at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference to learn their park and recreation life hacks — the tips and techniques that help get them through their day-to-day work.

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Serving Our Nation's Capital: A Chat with DCDPR's Delano Hunter — Episode 053

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we sit down with Delano Hunter, director of D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation, to find out about the innovative programs and partnerships that are helping them better serve all members of the D.C. community.

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Don’t Wait! Take the Jump in Your Career Now! — Episode 052

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we talk with Sue Yerkes, Director of Grandview Parks & Recreation, about how some insightful kids in her family motivated her to advance in her career, as well as inspire others to do the same.

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Providing Outdoor Recreation in the Big City — Episode 051

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We sat down with Molly Gallant and Bob Wall of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference to talk about the importance of outdoor recreation opportunities in urban environments.

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What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self? — Episode 050

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Since it’s our 50th episode of Open Space Radio and we’ve been reflecting on when we first started, we're using this episode to explore one of the questions we asked while we were in Baltimore at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference: What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

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Welcome to Baltimore! — Episode 049

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Tune in on your way to Baltimore for the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference to hear valuable insider tips on making the most of your time at conference, things that are new to the conference this year and the events that you won’t want to miss!

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Digital Marketing: It’s All About the Data — Episode 048

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Digital marketing can be a useful tool for park and recreation agencies that want to promote their programs, special events and other offerings to a broader audience, but it can be a little overwhelming if you don't know where to start.

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Programming for the Young and Young-at-Heart — Episode 047

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Today, we’re looking at intergenerational programming – what it is, how it’s working in the field and how it’s impacting those who participate in the programs.

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eSports at the Rec Center? — Episode 046

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eSports, or video game competitions, isn’t new, but it is a growing trend. So much so that eSports is starting to make a space for itself in the world of parks and recreation.

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Tips for Advancing in the Field of Parks and Recreation — Episode 045

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Sometimes just taking that first step toward your own professional development seems like a daunting task – especially if you don’t know where to start.

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What’s Your Funniest Moment on the Job? — Episode 044

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Working in parks and recreation regularly provides those deeply-satisfying laughs you can feel throughout your entire body. On this episode of Open Space Radio, we chat with a few folks about their funniest stories from the field.

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Game On for Park and Recreation Month with SaulPaul — Episode 043

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we kicked off Park and Recreation Month with a conversation with SaulPaul, a musician with a message.

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No Butts About Cleaning up Cigarette Litter in Tennessee — Episode 042

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On today's episode of Open Space Radio, we're chatting with Keep Tennessee Beautiful and Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful about how they're playing their part to clean up cigarette butt litter in their state.

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LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Finding Community in Parks and Recreation — Episode 041

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In celebration of Pride Month, we're talking about LGBTQ+ inclusion in parks and recreation on the latest episode of Open Space Radio with Jason Shriner, marketing manager for the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation.

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How Accessibility Is Impacting Fitness Trends — Episode 040

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On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we have an inspiring conversation with 2012 Paralympic Games Silver Medalist, Jennifer French, and Greenfields Outdoor Fitness CEO, Sam Mendelsohn.

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Answering Your Marketing and Communications Questions (And Whether or Not YOU Should Have a Podcast) — Episode 039

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We're taking a deeper dive into some of the questions we received during a recent webinar alongside our friend, colleague and NRPA’s Senior Manager of Public Relations, Heather Williams.

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A Farewell Interview with Barbara Tulipane and How Parks Will Save the World — Episode 038

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On this episode, we’re chatting with Barbara Tulipane, NRPA’s president and CEO, about the incredible 11 years she has spent helping transform NRPA into what it is today. But we can’t help being saddened that we’re having this discussion because of her upcoming retirement in June.

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Turning "Ugh, Another Meeting?" into "Yay, Another Meeting!" — Episode 037

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we're speaking with Sharon Tewksbury-Bloom about how staff meetings don't have to be a waste of valuable time and can be places where amazing ideas are born.

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A Park and Rec Program Created 500,000 Healthier Youth — Episode 035

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In today’s episode, we take a moment to celebrate five years of Commit to Health and how we're making an impact nationwide.

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Is This the End of Recycling? — Episode 034

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we're talking about one of NRPA’s top trends in parks and recreation for 2019 that is causing quite a stir.

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Lifeguard Shortage? What Lifeguard Shortage? — Episode 033

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, Mark Foote joins us to discuss the real need for parks and recreation to adapt to younger generations in order to attract and retain staff.

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How One Man (And His Family) Changed the Culture of a Community — Episode 32

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ABC Park in Baltimore, Maryland, is the site of our 2019 Parks Build Community project, but Derwin Hannah has been caring for the park as a volunteer for more than 17 years.

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Park Development Means Economic Development — Episode 031

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In this episode of Open Space Radio, we chat with Ed McMahon, the senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, about the importance of placemaking and why developers should invest in parks and open space.

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Help! We're Losing Our Parks! — Episode 030

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Even though parks and open space are vital to every community, many parks are being converted to non-park uses. In some cases, the conversions of these parks are for other valuable public purposes, such as schools or roads, but the net effect is the same — the parks are lost.

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What Are Your Park and Rec Pet Peeves? — Episode 029

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On our 25th episode, we asked you to let us know some of the things that you deal with in your career in parks and recreation that really annoy you, and you answered the call.

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Does Our Built Environment Impact Our Health Behaviors? — Episode 028

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we talk about how our public built environments impact health behaviors such as physical activity and recreation, and the environment where we spend most of our time, such as work, school and sleep, has an effect on our leisure time physical activity.

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What Does It Take to Raise the Bar in Parks and Rec? — Episode 027

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In this episode of Open Space Radio, we caught up with Becky Dunlap from the "Becky Talks Parks" podcast at the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference.

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Universal Recreation: Meh or Magnificent? — Episode 026

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In this episode, we chat about why universal recreation is important and how it can improve all aspects of parks and recreation.

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Celebrating Our 25th Episode: Why We Love Park & Rec Pros — Episode 025

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To celebrate the 25th episode of Open Space Radio, we're discussing the things we love about park and recreation professionals.

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How Risk Play Can Benefit Kids — Episode 024

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Unstructured, hands-on, risk play is making a comeback, and it can teach kids lessons and skills that they can take with them for the rest of their lives.

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Parks and Rec Brings the Fun — Episode 023

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Peter Kageyama, one of the keynote speakers at the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference, discusses why he loves parks.

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Celebrating "A Lifetime of Discovery!" — Episode 022

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July is Park and Recreation Month! On this episode, we chat with the Waukegan Park District in Illinois about how they're celebrating and all the great events they have planned.

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How Parks and Rec Served Over 85 Million Meals — Episode 021

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As one of the largest providers of meals during out-of-school times, park and recreation agencies are making significant impacts in their communities.

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Parks and Rec is Transforming the Lives of Older Adults (and Vice Versa) — Episode 020

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In this episode, we speak with Mr. Joe Trevino, a 93-year-old veteran, and Irma Yepez-Perez, a Senior Management Analyst at the City of Fresno PARCS department.

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The Great NRPA Owl Rescue — Episode 019

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The story about a baby owl who fell from its nest and, after the heroic acts of Ted Mattingly, NRPA's resident hero and Director of Facilities and Administrative Services, was returned to safety.

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What Do Dream Parks Look Like to Kids? — Episode 018

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We asked kids to design their dream park at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, and you're going to want to hear about some of these creations!

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Parks and Recreation in a Digital World — Episode 017

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In this episode, we're taking a look at public interest and attitudes toward digital solutions for park and recreation services.

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How to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health and #MoveWithHeart — Episode 016

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, yet it is largely preventable by taking certain steps.

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How the Rise of Technology Could Help Us Reclaim Our Paradise — Episode 015

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A shift in how people are getting around cities could mean a change in the future of land use in urban areas.

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Why Everyone in San Francisco Lives Within a 10-Minute Walk to a Park — Episode 014

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San Francisco is the first and only city in the nation where 100 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park.

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Mayor Hillary Schieve on Why Parks and Recreation is Vital to a Thriving Reno — Episode 013

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Reno is aiming to be a leader in outdoor recreation in order to attract new business and improve overall quality of life.

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9 Minutes with 9-Year-Old Kedar on How to Save Pollinators — Episode 012

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How a 9-year-old is saving pollinators with an app, a board game and endless enthusiasm.

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5 Healthy Out-of-School Time Myths Busted — Episode 011

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In today’s episode, we chat with Ava DeBovis and Daniel Hatcher from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to bust some out-of-school time myths.

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Why 3 National Orgs Came Together to Promote Proximity to Parks — Episode 010

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On October 10, 2017, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) came together to launch a campaign called 10-Minute Walk.

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Drones in Parks: Part 3. Opportunities, Innovative Uses and the Future — Episode 008

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In this third and final installment of our series on drones in parks, we speak with Rich Dolesh, NRPA’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives on the future of drones in parks.

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Drones in Parks: Part 2. To Fly or Not to Fly: How Park Managers Manage Drones — Episode 007

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In this episode of Open Space Radio, we continue our three-part series on drones in parks. In the second segment, I speak with Evie Kirkwood, Director of St. Joseph County Parks in Indiana.

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Drones in Parks: Part 1. Policy, Drone Zones and Resources for Land Managers — Episode 006

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Part one of a three-part series to tackle this topic by interviewing experts in the field with three different perspectives.

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Harvey and How We Can Help — Episode 005

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This week we’re discussing what’s been on top of all of our minds over the past week or so — hurricane Harvey and the devastating destruction it’s wrought on Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf Shore.

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How Cities and Local Parks are Celebrating the American Solar Eclipse — Episode 004

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For the first time in 26 years, all of the US will be treated to some form of an eclipse on Monday, August 21, with a large portion being able to view a total eclipse.

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Americans Are Staying Put and It’s Affecting All of Us — Episode 003

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NRPA staff members share their opinions about a recent Wall Street Journal article that explores how Americans are staying put even though moving might bring them more opportunity.

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Hot Topics: Pokémon Go is Back in the News, Recreation Fees and Cool Streets — Episode 002

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Today’s episode covers three trending topics that have been in the news lately — Pokémon Go and augmented reality games in parks, recreation fees for public land use and cool streets.

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Why the World’s First Ultra-Accessible Waterpark is the Coolest - Episode 001

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Today’s episode is a cool topic — literally and figuratively — we’re talking about the world’s first ultra-accessible waterpark: Morgan’s Inspiration Island.

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