Celebrating Women in Parks and Recreation — Episode 111

By Cort Jones | Posted on March 29, 2022

Episode 111 WiPaR 410

Pictured: Members of WiPaR together at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference welcome party at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo courtesy of Caught in the Moment Photography.

As we wrap up Women’s History Month, I wanted to revisit an episode we released around this time last year, with three women who created quite a force in the world of parks and recreation – a group known as Women in Parks and Recreation, or WiPaR. What started as a Facebook group for women in the field to come together and share their ideas, struggles and triumphs, has now grown into a 501(C)3 nonprofit charitable organization with a goal of strengthening women in the field through networking, collaboration and learning.

On this episode, you’ll be hearing from the three founding members of Women in Parks and Recreation:

  • Lakita Watson, an NRPA board member, former executive director of the Richland County Recreation Commission (South Carolina) and CEO of WiPaR;
  • Katy Keller, director of Town of Pittsboro Parks and Recreation (North Carolina) and the vice president of programs for WiPaR; and
  • Melanie Scoggins, business development and retention manager at Town of Leesburg (Virginia) and founding board member of WiPaR

I hope you enjoy this conversation as we discuss their experiences, as well as the inspiration behind creating WiPaR. I encourage listeners to check out their newly launched website at WIPAR.org to learn more.

Tune in to the full episode below to learn:

  • The importance of women having their own space to collaborate on ideas related to our field.
  • Some of the ways they are sharing the “mental load” of invisible work that women take on in their personal and professional lives.
  • What their experiences have been working through a pandemic and what challenges have been unique to women.
  • What advice they would give young women in the field of parks and recreation.
  • Some of their favorite stories and ideas that have come from the Women in Parks and Recreation Facebook group, and more!


Listen to the episode for the full story.


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