Did COVID-19 Make Us Essential?

10/29/2020 3 p.m. EDT

Session Type:  Education Session (1 hour)

Track: Health and Wellness


Every park and recreation professional knows how essential our agencies’ services are to the health and wellness of communities across the nation of every size and composition, but decision-makers and voters don't always connect what we do with the value we bring. At no time in recent history has our agencies’ value been more obvious than during this current COVID-19 pandemic. This session will explore how agencies across the country have responded to the crisis with both in-house and partner programming for those relegated to their homes and how agencies can capitalize on that work to strengthen their value as an essential service.


Learning Outcomes:

List at least five different ideas for virtual health and wellness programming offered during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.

Quantify the value virtual programs brought to their communities.

Prescribe strategies that will enhance the public’s image of parks and recreation as an essential service in the aftermath of COVID-19.



Janet Bartnik

Executive Director, Mountain Recreation


Cortney Weinstock

Baltimore City (Maryland) Recreation and Parks

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