A Comprehensive Response to the Substance Use Crisis

10/28/2020 3 p.m. EDT

Session Type:  Education Session (1 hour)

Track: Health and Wellness


Over the past few years, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has been monitoring the impact of the opioid epidemic on park and recreation professionals and the communities they serve. As a response to these challenges, NRPA created a Community of Practice (CoP) specifically addressing substance use — with a strong focus on opioids. The CoP examined two main areas in response to substance use on park grounds: (1) prevention and (2) operations/facility management. This session will discuss the summary report that was developed as a result of the Community of Practice, and includes overarching themes and lessons learned, data collected from agencies across the country, and recommendations from leading public health organizations and the federal government. It  also will include case studies from local park and recreation agencies implementing different strategies in response to the substance use crisis.



Julien Scott

Director of Operations Initiatives, NYC (New York) Parks and Recreation

Laruen Kiefert

Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

Annette Cheng

Project Development Coordinator, Innovation and Performance Management, NYC (New York) Parks and Recreation

Kelly Kitchens

Programming and Special Events Coordinator, City of Elizabethton (Tennessee) Parks and Recreation

Jilian Reece

Carter County Drug Prevention Coalition Director, City of Elizabethton (Tennessee) Parks and Recreation

Patricia Roberts

Deputy Director, City of Port St. Lucie (Florida) Parks and Recreation Department


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