Call for Education Session Proposals

The NRPA Annual Conference is an inclusive event that brings together thousands of people across several different fields including parks and recreation, conservation, health, landscape architecture and city planning. Year after year attendees register and fill the session rooms because they know the NRPA Annual Conference is the place to go for inspirational education sessions and energetic networking opportunities with some of the top leaders in the profession.

Our goal at the NRPA Annual Conference is to fulfill the needs of our diverse audience by providing a selection of relevant topics addressed by unique, quality presenters. We are looking for speakers who can build upon our attendees’ passion for parks and recreation and inspire even greater impact in communities nationwide. The 2021 NRPA Annual Conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, September 2123, 2021.

The 2021 NRPA Annual Conference Call for Proposals opened on December 1, 2020. The deadline to submit your session was January 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET.


Education Session Formats

Education Session: Education Sessions are 60-minute or 120-minute sessions that deliver a selection of relevant and timely topics.

Speed Sessions: Speed Sessions are 20-minute sessions designed to engage and inspire. These collaborative and energizing sessions cover a variety of park and recreation trends in interactive formats.

Who Should Consider Submitting Proposals? 

  • Park and recreation professionals, educators and students
  • Park and recreation vendors, contractors and related groups
  • Speakers and educators aligned with NRPA's Three Pillars of Health and Wellness, Equity and Conservation
  • Planners, landscape architects, public health administrators, city and county managers, naturalists
  • Presenters should have experience speaking at state, regional or national conferences; schools; or seminars

Proposal Review

All education session proposals are reviewed by the Conference Program Committee and programmed by tracks. Sessions are assessed using the following criteria:

Originality: At the NRPA Annual Conference it is essential that we continue to present unique and exciting programs that reflect our dynamic community.

Relevance: NRPA seeks sessions that are of great interest to prospective attendees and clearly benefit the professional needs of the designated audience.

Overall Quality: NRPA is dedicated to ensuring that the learning programs at its Annual Conference meet the highest standards of excellence.

Equity and Inclusion

NRPA commits to putting equity at the center of our work to support park and recreation professionals in their work to create fair and just park and recreation systems. This year we are launching learning cohorts to support professionals in their journey towards equity and inclusion in parks and recreation. In the proposal process, please identify where on this journey your target audience is in regards to diversity, equity and inclusion: beginner, intermediate, experienced.

Education Tracks

The NRPA Annual Conference offers education sessions through 12 education tracks specifically tailored to parks and recreation.

  • Advocacy: Park foundations, funding sources, friend groups, impact of parks and recreation on communities, etc.
  • Aquatics: Operation and maintenance of aquatic features and facilities including pools, beaches and splash pads
  • Career Development: Tools and techniques to succeed in current and future park and recreation professions
  • Conservation: Climate-ready parks, green infrastructure, natural resources, wildlife management, ecology, etc.
  • Customer Service: Acquisition and retention of park and recreation users, community engagement
  • Equity and Inclusion: Diversity, equity and inclusion for all members of the community, regardless of race, age, gender, ability, orientation, religion and more
  • Health and Wellness: Nutrition, fitness, mental health, community wellness and wellbeing, as well as addressing substance use, etc.
  • Leadership and Personnel Management: Supervisory skills, performance, innovation, trends, team building, volunteers
  • Planning, Design and Maintenance: Development, design, facility operations, etc.
  • Programming: Special events, athletics, arts, culture and nature programming for all ages
  • Public Relations and Marketing: Traditional marketing, social media, press relations, etc.
  • Revenue Development: Revenue, cost recovery and reduction, budget management, privatization, partnerships, etc.

Important Dates

Call for Education and Speed Session Proposals: December 1, 2020  January 8, 2021
Session Notifications: April 2021
2021 NRPA Annual Conference: September 21–23, 2021


Commercial / Promotional Presentations

Your presentation may NOT sell, raffle, or otherwise promote a product, service, or organization in which you have a financial interest.