The Essential Role of Parks and Recreation Throughout COVID-19

10/29/2020 4:30 p.m. EDT

Session Type:  Education Session (1 hour)

Track: Health and Wellness


During times of crisis, park and recreation professionals have repeatedly proven they are trusted community leaders capable of swiftly providing or supporting a host of rapid emergency response and relief services. These services include food distribution, emergency residential shelter and safe zones, childcare for essential workers, maintenance and sanitation of public spaces to ensure safety, communications dissemination, leveraging facilities and spaces to support community needs, and scaling other necessary emergency response functions. Park and recreation professionals also manage essential infrastructure, including parks, trails, open spaces, community and senior centers, pools and cooling centers, as well as countless other tasks that protect, support and enable the public's physical and mental health. Join three park and recreation directors as they share how their agencies were essential in supporting community health and well-being throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.



Allison Colman

Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association


Lakita Watson

Executive Director, Richland County (South Carolina) Recreation Commission

Kristin Zimmerman

Parks Administrator, Mohave County (Arizona) Parks

Dan West

Director, Broward County (Florida) Parks and Recreation


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