The 2021 NRPA Annual Conference will include more than 80 inspirational education sessions, 20 speed sessions and 20 NRPA Research Sessions presented by top speakers both inside and outside of the industry. These sessions are categorized into 12 distinct education tracks to help you easily determine the sessions that will meet your needs. Below is a list of all 80 one-hour education sessions that will be featured by track. Please note the delivery format for each education session. 

Learn More about the Conference Education Experience

Full Education Schedule Coming Soon

 

  • Open or CloseAdvocacy

    Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights: A Lever for Action
    Speakers:
    Jesús Aguirre, Kristine Stratton
    CEU Credits:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: This session will explore the potential for a campaign around children’s outdoor bill of rights can serve as a lever for policy action and equitable access to parks and greenspace. Panelists will include: a representative from Children & Nature Network; a program coordinator for Cities Connecting Children to Nature; Jesus Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation; and moderated by NRPA President and CEO Kristine Stratton.

     



    Commissioners and Staff and Volunteers, Oh My! Building Your Team to Pass Park and Conservation Ballot Measures
    Speakers: Jay Byars, Eric Davis, Pegeen Hanrahan, Clay Henderson, Nancy Maddox
    CEU Credits: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: Passing ballot measures to fund your vision for parks, trails, schoolyards, recreation and conservation takes a skilled and diverse team. This session will include five speakers or panelists, all experienced in getting voters to say “YES!” to new recreation funding. The session will be a fun, interactive look at each step along the way, including soliciting diverse community input, completing public opinion polling, designing the ballot language, planning the capital and operations and maintenance expenditures, developing and delivering culturally competent and effective campaign communications, and implementing voters’ intent.  Among the panelists are three current or former elected officials, two park and recreation directors, an attorney, a professional engineer, three public administration experts, and a few presenters skilled in public finance! All have been engaged in multiple ballot measures from beginning to end, as either volunteers, professional staff, elected officials, consultants or multiple roles.

     



    Elevating Parks in the Policy Debate Over the Next Five Years
    Speakers: Elvis Cordova, Madeline Wade
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: Over the next five years, policymakers will have to solve for the impacts of COVID-19, climate change, rising inequality and a host of other systemic problems. As Congress and the White House debate consequential legislation, how can park advocates ensure that funding and prioritization of local parks are not just included, but also elevated in these key policy discussions? Panelists will discuss the areas where we have seen progress and where we have work to do. Attendees will hear from government officials making these decisions and park advocates on how we can elevate our voice, so that issues critical to our local parks and communities are a priority issue for decision-makers.

     



    It Was Business as Usual, With a Few Tweaks
    Speakers: Mariela Fernandez, Gus Hallmon, Tiffany White
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: If the pandemic did nothing else, it certainly proved how essential our parks, resources and programs are to the communities we serve. Despite various challenges, it was “business as usual” for many agencies as they adapted their practices to continue serving during the pandemic. Journey with our speakers as they explore the innovative and essential strategies, programs and services implemented throughout the pandemic. Learn ways that you can integrate some of these new practices into your ongoing operations, and learn how to emphasize the park and recreation profession as an essential service to decision-makers.
     



    Parks and Recreation 2037 — Our Profession 16 Years From Today
    Speakers: Thomas O’Rourke
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: In 2005, 16 years ago at the NRPA Congress in San Antonio, Texas, Thomas O'Rourke, Clemson University professor and Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. consultant, stood before a large crowd to present a session titled, “Parks and Recreation 2025.” The session was intended to look into the future of what the park and recreation profession would be like in 2025. Although it is not 2025, it is close. As they say, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. This session will look at the 2005 predictions, measure where we are today, and predict 16 years ahead to 2037. This session is not only to predict, but also to show you how to position yourself and your agency for the inevitable future.
     



    Searching for the Fourth Pillar
    Speakers: Cindy Mendoza
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: Last year, NRPA launched a new strategic plan that urged us to “Build a Movement.” While it felt, at times, like everything stopped in 2020, we also found ourselves in the middle of a movement — the unprecedented transformation of the American lifestyle, with more time spent outdoors. Public spaces became flash points and hot spots for intense community advocacy for equity and change. People gained a new vigor and passion for parks and outdoor recreation. Many agencies stepped up and into community turmoil to support resilience in ways we never imagined. Park professionals adapted and thrived at the heart of this movement, supporting community vitality and essential services that go beyond health and wellness, equity, and conservation. What is this movement? What does it mean for our agencies and our entire profession? Join this conversation as we define the critical X-factor that could be the Fourth Pillar of our profession.

     



    Telling the Story of Parks for Influence, Advocacy and Equity
    Speakers: Jason Jordan, Liz Lang
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: Every park has a story. Understanding stories of place and people is a vital part of effective placemaking and public engagement. Storytelling is valuable for building public and political support for parks and recovery. Research shows that stories are the surest path for changing perceptions and opinion. Discover lessons from advertising and political campaigns to advance your park advocacy efforts. In a period of significant fiscal constraint and equally great need, effective advocacy is essential. Story-driven communication holds the key to building support. Communities are embracing storytelling as a key to advancing equity and transforming public engagement. This work is even more important as communities focus on recovery and aim to adapt lessons from the pandemic for broader reinvention. Experts will explain the power of story and detail how stories are found, crafted and communicated. Discover how to effectively integrate story, facts and framing into influential messaging.

  • Open or CloseAquatics

    Creating Safe and Inclusive Parks and Recreational Facilities Through Aquatic Programming
    Speakers:
    Alex Fletcher
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    This course addresses how aquatic programming creates safe, inclusive parks and recreational facilities for families of all communities. Attendees will learn about various case studies where aquatic programming has enhanced the quality of life for residents of low-income communities. This course also will cover how the different types of water features associated with park and recreational facilities — splash pads, aquatic play sets and interactive water features — can be tailored for users of all ages and abilities. Attendees will learn how to implement these water features into their aquatic programming, thus creating a safer, healthier and more welcoming environment for all members of the community.


     
    How to Meet the Standard of Care in Aquatics Through the Use of the Model Aquatic Health Code
    Speakers: Kristie Riester
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: Discover how to implement the Model Aquatic Health Code within your community to ensure that you’re meeting the standard of care within the aquatics industry. The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) has become the standard for aquatic safety. It is referenced in court cases and news articles across the country. It is a must for the aquatic professional to know about and how to implement it into their operation to ensure they are meeting the standard of care within the industry.

     


     
    Providing Adaptive Aquatic Services to Your Community
    Speakers: Rebecca Barley, Lauren Johnson
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: This session will teach participants how to serve those with disabilities in their aquatic facilities and programs. Presenters will cover the following topics: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, pool accessibility, reasonable modifications, assessment, program placement, behavior interventions and adaptive equipment. Participants will show their knowledge through group participation in case studies and activities.

     


     
    Shark Attack: Take a Bite Out of Your Community by Creating Your Own Summer Swim League
    Speakers: Adam Nelsen
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: This session aims to inspire aquatics professionals to re-envision the way they look at summer swimming. Swim leagues need to be inclusive, fun and in a format that will inspire new growth in your community. In 2017, the city of Benton, Arkansas, ditched the old formats of past and worked to create a new way to reach families in our area. Attendees will learn what challenges panelists faced and how they created creative solutions to overcome them, which led to growth and development of aquatics in their area. Presenters hope to create open dialogue regarding the challenges that you currently face and how you can use the lessons they’ve learned to connect with your community in a new format. In 2018, the Arkansas Recreation and Parks Association recognized the program by awarding the Benton Sharks Swim League with the Program of the Year.


     
    'Training Lifeguards Like True First Responders’
    Speakers: Jaimie Clout
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: Did you know that there are more lifeguards than emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in the United States? It is a fact! Lifeguards play a vital community role in providing prehospital, emergency medical care to those in need and are often the “first” first responders to a medical or traumatic emergency. When minutes matter, most towns and cities have 4- to 6-minute response times for emergency medical services to arrive and training trending toward requiring continuing education for lifeguards, it is important to train them like the true first responders they are. Continuing education fills the gap between initial certification and perfecting their skills. This session will provide a framework for putting together a more effective, go-to training resource for your organization with the goal of empowering lifeguard confidence when dealing with an emergency situation. This session will also cover setting up a virtual aquatics training classroom and designing your own custom online training programs, as well as where to find great training resources.


     
    ‘Yes, Drill Sergeant’: How Paramilitary Preparation Increases Performance
    Speakers: Tracy Stayton
    CEUs: 0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: Trends in aquatics point to making lifeguard training more silly and fun instead of realistic. How fast can you find the toy/ball secretly tossed in the pool? Where is the sad emoji in a sea of happy emojis? But should fun be the focus in a position where consequences can be dire, for both the employee who fails to react and the patron who requires care? Lifeguards are first responders. So are law enforcement officers, paramedics and firefighters — all of whom we trust with our lives and all of whom consistently drill in realistic settings and scenarios with paramilitary precision. Lifeguards should not be the exception. Using structured, realistic drilling disciplines staff helping them understand the importance of their role and how to properly identify, respond and treat patrons. This session is for any new or seasoned aquatics professional to gain perspective, ask questions and acquire performance enhancing techniques to raise staff confidence, readiness, teamwork and performance.

  • Open or CloseCareer Development

    Accountability: The Cornerstone of Success
    Speakers:
    Carrie Fullerton, Jan Hincapie
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    How would you feel if the speakers for this session didn’t show up? Remember when your employee overslept and never opened the community center? How about when you went to a committee meeting and you were the only one who did the work that was assigned at the last meeting? We’ve all been there, on one side or the other. It’s frustrating when people aren’t accountable, but realizing that you haven’t been accountable can be equally miserable. Accountability or lack of accountability can make or break a professional, a team or an agency.

    Learn the qualities of accountable people and how their accountability impacts their professional reputation and the success of their agency. Identify five accountability profiles and discuss how each profile can impact success. What type of colleague or volunteer are you? Take the accountability quiz to see how you score! You will discover ways to transform yourself, your team and your agency to become more accountability-driven and successful.



    Employee Engagement Comes Before Customer Engagement
    Speakers:
    Ruby Newell-Legner
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: Is your organization relentlessly pursuing innovation, technological advancements, and best practices to enhance the guest experience? How about investing in the same for your internal customers — your employees who represent you and your brand to your community every day? Helping employees apply their talents in their roles is just a first step on the road to your park and recreation agency’s continuous improvement. In the long run, choosing the right way to onboard, train and develop your employees can bring them up to speed faster and make them more successful in the long run. This approach supports park and recreation professionals in their efforts to promote community health and well-being. Educating your staff helps create fair and just park and recreation systems for the communities they serve. 

     



    Lean in! Navigating and Eliminating Imposter Syndrome
    Speakers:
    Jai Cole
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: Do you ever wonder if co-workers think you don’t belong and question how you got your position? Do you believe you lack credibility? Do you look at potential jobs and feel like you aren’t qualified even though, on paper, you clearly are? If so, you may have Imposter Syndrome — a natural thought process where you may have feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt or intellectual fraudulence. Studies have found that an estimated 70 percent of people have experienced these feelings at some point in their careers. Minorities and women are the most at risk —because the less you are surrounded by people who look or sound like you, the less confident you may feel — which may make you question your place and your abilities. This talk will help you recognize those feelings, invalidate them when they falsely occur, and re-frame your narrative. Your uniqueness is an asset to your agency, capitalize on that and lean in, so you can silence those negative thoughts and move forward in your career.

     



    Positioning Yourself to Win: Networking With Intentionality
    Speakers:
    Trinette Mumford, Tamika Pollard
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    As college students and future professionals, you take classes on management, ethics and policy, but what about networking, mentorship and certifications? Networking may seem like a bunch of small talk or come with a bad connotation. However, establishing a strong network could result not only in furthering your career, but also building professional relationships that may sustain you over a lifetime. It is imperative to start building those relationships with intentionality now, instead of waiting until graduation. This session will provide tips on selecting meaningful internships, discuss why you should find a mentor, and show how volunteering could help you get your foot in the door. These connections can play an integral role in landing your first job and sowing seeds for future career advancement. Join us as our panelists discuss how to position yourself to “win” in the park and recreation profession.



    Say Her Name: The Role of Black Female Leaders Post Breonna Taylor
    Speakers:
    Kendra A. Moore, MSW, CPRP, Jacia Smith
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    The death of Breonna Taylor in 2020 brought to bear many of the racial ills still plaguing our society. Young, Black and marginalized, Breonna Taylor’s death highlighted how many systems that are purposed to support, serve and protect often leave Black women behind. These systems of power and privilege are ever present in the workplace. How women of color survive and thrive within these systems, while challenging their very existence, are both art and science. Inherent in that, is how race and the perceived notions of femininity impact how women of color navigate leadership roles. Balancing external dynamics while prioritizing the successful internal operations of their respective workplaces, Black women leaders are at the center of redefining the next generation of leaders. Against a backdrop of racial unrest, Black female leaders can speak truth to power and help redefine workplace cultures to be more inclusive and responsive. 



    What Now? Transcending Old Park Management Traditions
    Speakers:
    Seve  Ghose, Cindy Mendoza
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: The evolving history of our profession has prepared us well, albeit with limitations. Now is the time to learn from, let go of, and transcend our previous mindset and management practices to create a new model of excellence for the 21st century. This forward-thinking session provides a cursory look at our profession’s history and engage participants in a discussion of how staffing, leadership, innovation, finances, communication, inclusion, equity and resilience planning are forever altered, in the post-pandemic age, and demands a transformation in the way we do business.

     



    Young Professionals: Little Fish, Big Pond
    Speakers:
    Guillermo Bonnet-Laboy, Priscilla Scott
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    What do you want your job title to be at the end of your career? Where are you now and how will you get there? These are questions most young professionals are not asked. This session will allow young professionals to evaluate where they want their career to take them and what steps they will need to take to get there. Speakers will discuss important tools and tips for the emerging young professional. What mark will you leave behind?

  • Open or CloseConservation

    Climate.Park.Change: An Interactive Toolkit for Creating Resilient Parks
    Speakers:
    Anna Cawrse, Lanmuzhi Yang
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: According to recent data, 2020 was the hottest year on record, highlighting that we are experiencing the impacts of climate change now. Park and recreation professionals, who serve nearly every community in the country, are poised to advance climate mitigation and adaptation strategies to build environmental and community resiliency. Sasaki, in partnership with NRPA, created a toolkit, Climate.Park.Change, to make it easy for park and recreation professionals to find specific strategies they can tailor and use in their parks to help their community adapt to the climate impacts they are facing. While the first phase of this toolkit focuses on the climate impacts and associated strategies for the Intermountain West region, this interactive session will demo Climate.Park.Change and showcase how these strategies can be tailored for every park, community and challenge.

     



    Got Birds? Bird Conservation and Birding in City Parks
    Speakers:
    Brett Johnson, Becky Rader
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: Improving birding access and overall bird conservation are things that almost every city can do, and do it through their city parks. In 2020, Dallas was named as one of the first Bird City Texas designees in the state. This designation was largely driven by efforts with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. Conservation practices in the areas of Community Engagement, Habitat Enhancement and Protection, and Creating Safe Places for Birds were part of this effort. This presentation will highlight bird conservation and outreach practices that can be done by most municipal park departments. Birding as a fast-growing, passive recreational activity that can be enhanced in city parks, so how can you catch the wings and fly, too? Don’t be left on the ground, find out what your department can do for increasing birds in your city, reduce bird-related maintenance issues, increase community and citizen science involvement, and engage birding and conservation organizations.

     



    Our County: An Innovative Sustainability Plan for Los Angeles County
    Speakers:
    Gary Gero, Mia Lehrer, Christopher Rhie
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: Speaker Gary Gero, Los Angeles County’s chief sustainability officer, will discuss the vision for the first-ever comprehensive sustainability plan for Los Angeles County, the most populous and one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Next, speaker Christopher Rhie, lead consultant at BuroHappold, will discuss the strategies for creating a multi-disciplinary team and outreach strategy that highlighted park and open space advocates along with community members and other stakeholders. Lastly,       Mia Lehrer, founder and president of Studio-MLA, will discuss how their experience as local open space advocates helped inform strategies to protect more natural land, encourage nature-based resiliency solutions, and increase access to open space.

     



    Parks as Critical Infrastructure: How to Quantify and Message Their Equity, Health, Climate and Economic Benefits
    Speakers:
    Taj Schottland, Sean Terry, Ayanna Williams
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: There is growing awareness of the structural inequities in our communities. We now know that parks serving non-white populations are, on average, half the size as parks in white neighborhoods, yet serve five times as many people. Similarly, low-income, non-white neighborhoods are disproportionately vulnerable to flooding and extreme heat because they lack adequate green space. To change this, we must transform the public’s perception of parks as nice-to-have amenities to must-have infrastructure. Using case studies from around the country, presenters will share how to effectively communicate the benefits of parks, attract advocates and build support. They will share examples of how parks generate significant benefits, new research that quantifies carbon capture, and resources that position green infrastructure in parks as a multi-benefit community solution. Attendees will learn how to advocate for parks as critical solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our communities.

     



    Recreation + Resiliency: Adapting to Shocks and Stressors Through Integrative Parks Planning
    Speakers:
    Steve Frisch, Mikey Goralnik, Carly Klein
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: As stressors of climate change and shocks of natural hazards undermine the health, safety and vibrancy of communities, social systems must contribute to achieving resilient communities. The Mariposa County (California) Recreation and Resiliency Plan not only supports development and maintenance of parks and recreation amenities, but also applies a resiliency framework to align decisions with wider climate-change adaptation and risk-reduction objectives. Extensive community input led to strategies that leverage parks, trails and open spaces to achieve adaptation and mitigation outcomes, like reducing wildfire risk and supporting disaster response activities.

    This session describes a 20-year direction for a rural Sierra Nevada County to establish itself as a resiliency leader and great place to recreate. In focus will be the “how”: how the plan addressed the intersection of recreation and resilience; how a system confronts climate-change impacts; and how health and economic development are promoted.



    Urban Nature and Intentionality: Elevating Eco-literacy, Urban Biodiversity and Equity
    Speakers:
    Catherine Werner
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: This session revolves around impactful social, ecological and economic benefits that are possible to achieve when a city approaches urban conservation and natural resource efforts with intentionality. To address a legacy of racial and economic disparity, the City of St. Louis (Missouri) Office of Sustainability centered equity for people and species diversity in its urban ecology efforts. Results include improved eco-literacy, a foundation for urban biodiversity, effective community engagement and widespread citizen science efforts, despite having limited staff or budget. As such, the approaches are easily replicated and exported. In addition to illustrating numerous urban ecology case studies in the areas of urban monarch butterfly conservation, urban forestry and nature-based solutions, this session will feature lessons learned, free tools and useful resources, so participants come away with best practices for creating programs with mutually beneficial outcomes for people and nature.

  • Open or CloseCustomer Service

    Building an Effective Park Officer Program
    Speakers:
    Alex Posada, Casey Stone
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: This program will acknowledge that if crime and a lack of services persists within a park and recreation system, guests and residents will be excluded from full use, participation and enjoyment. By creating and tailoring a Park Officer Program to meet the unique needs of your community, attendees can create a safer, cleaner and more welcoming atmosphere, resulting in an increase in park and recreation use, participation and enjoyment. This program will focus on creating a Park Officer Program, in order to address the trending problems within local park systems throughout the United States, ranging from substance abuse and low-level crime, to resource coordination for individuals experiencing homelessness and mental health related problems. This session will cover trending problems in local U.S. park systems, methods for determining the needs of a local Park Officer Program, designing a Park Officer Program for your park system and successful implementation of a Park Officer Program.

     



    Creating a Culture of Listening and Service Excellence in the Midst of a Pandemic
    Speakers:
    Neelay Bhatt, Nikki Ginger
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: The pandemic and racial justice movement nationwide has created a need for park and recreation agencies to create safe, inclusive and welcoming guest experiences, both in person and online. Additionally, they face increasing competition from the private sector and technology for users’ time and disposable income. With the constant busyness of life, people fail to truly listen to their staff and customers’ needs and instead rely on “this is how we’ve always done it.” This session will provide examples and strategies for training staff (in person and virtually) from varied agencies and highlight the example of national Gold Medal-winning Chicago Park District’s efforts to create a culture that values inclusion and intentional listening, as well as focuses on customer service excellence all while going through a global pandemic.

     



    Customer Journey Mapping: The Key to Understanding Your Customer and Optimizing the Customer Experience
    Speakers:
    Brenda Lammie
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: How much do you know about your customer? Do you want to build loyalty and “wow” your customers? Every organization in every industry can improve their customers’ experience by leveraging customer journey mapping. This interactive session will introduce you to the visual technique of creating a journey map of your customers’ interactions with your brand, service or program. You will step into the shoes of your customer to gain valuable insights and opportunities for success.

     



    Digital Access in Parks and Recreation — Break IT Down
    Speakers:
    Marsha Schwanke
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: Ensuring digital access to park and recreation programs, research and media (online and print) is integral for inclusive service delivery and effective communication. But, ‘missing pieces’ prevent equality for people with disabilities. Break information technology (IT) down starting with the basic “corners” of rationale, lingo, laws and guidelines for accessibility. “Edge” into the online experience of people, disability and technology. Discover practical solutions to “content” barriers and provide more accessible materials to a diverse audience.

     



    Misery Loves Company!
    Speakers:
    Tiffany White
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: If you’ve heard the old adage that “misery loves company,” then you’re probably aware that miserable people seek to make others miserable, too. As we advance in the ranks of our organizations, one mistake that we tend to make is forgetting that our team is made up of people, and just like our general public, our teams deserve a world-class customer experience as well. In this session, presenters will discuss strategies to help you improve your internal customer service to enhance your organization’s ability to deliver exceptional service to your community.

     



    Now Is Your Time to Make a Difference (Customer and Community Service)
    Speakers:
    Robert Lemon
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: Now is the time to make a difference. That means focusing on the conscience choices we make every day that impact the lives of others. Each of us has the potential to transform the culture of an organization through our actions and attitudes. Organizations allocate a large amount of their marketing budget dedicated to building a positive and trustful relationship with the public. They think carefully about the type of customer that they wish to attract, the image their brand portrays, and how they communicate the benefits of their products and/or services to potential customers. Everything you do related to customer service is essential — every phone call, every email and every face-to-face interaction with a customer is the motivation behind “making a difference.”

  • Open or CloseEquity and Inclusion

    Accessibility to Public Facilities for the Transgender Population
    Speakers:
    Michael Clark, Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Sophie Michaels
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: Equality and inclusiveness have become societal priorities, and this also includes the transgender population within society and, specifically, the accessibility and acceptance in our public park and recreation facilities and employment opportunities. This session will cover the legal history, ever-changing dynamics and implications when it comes to protective rights of individuals identifying as a different gender than their affirmed gender. Best practices for all professionals will be covered with regard to developing an all-inclusive facility and workplace, including facility assessments, policy development and effective training. What’s more, our transgender panelist, Sophie, will share her struggles in life and society living eight years as a transgender woman and her life experiences as well as her aspirations for more awareness, acceptance and inclusion within the public sector and for ensuring that all transgender individuals feel safe, welcome and treated fairly, with tact and professionalism.

     



    Bringing Anti-Racist Caucusing Practices to Your Agency
    Speakers:
    Brian Judd, Shanyanika McElroy
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: This session will focus on providing best practices on engaging in anti-racist caucusing with your home agency. The presenters have recently co-collaborated on facilitating statewide anti-racist caucuses in Washington state and have exciting lessons learned to share at NRPA with park and recreation colleagues. Please arrive prepared to authentically engage in experiential learning and commit to bringing these skills back to lead your agency in anti-racist work. Shanyanika McElroy and Brian Judd, both from Seattle Parks and Recreation, affirm the need for racial equity and justice; therefore, they are providing this space for learning and growth no matter where anyone is with this work. They will not be engaging in debate about whether or not racism exists. Please take time to ensure your intentions match what is provided in this description prior to pre-registering. Caucusing activities will be appropriately designed around racial identity of participants.

     



    Community Outreach and Engagement with an Equity Lens
    Speakers:
    Courtney Acoff, Delia Flores, Abigail Vizcarra Perez
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: During the time of COVID, the Metro Parks Tacoma (Washington) Outreach and Engagement Team has been identifying barriers, challenges and opportunities for a transparent, equitable and genuine engagement approach within communities. Learn strategies to shift organizational culture, policies and procedures; change methodology for delivery of service; and develop best practices with an anti-racist lens to better serve marginalized communities.




    Equity Inside and Out: How San Francisco and Seattle Have Taught Each Other and Themselves to Create More Racial Equity in the World of Parks and Recreation
    Speakers:
    Jesús Aguirre, Phil Ginsburg
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: When we use a racial equity analysis to evaluate the policies and procedures, written and unwritten rules, and formal and informal guidelines of our work together, then we can expose the traditions of disparity that may still exist in current practices of park and recreation management. A thriving organizational culture and community starts with each person treating others with fairness and respect. Intentionally embedding more equity into the internal practices of hiring, recruitment, training, discipline, leadership and culture is the foundation for equity-based outcomes existing in external practices of resource allocation. Using the intersection of racial and economic disparity gives higher purpose to park planning, allocation of resources, recreational programming, community engagement and staff morale. Park and recreation departments must commit to being Agents of Change, to learning and listening, and to ensuring the work of our profession brings out all our best selves.

     



    Improving Access and Use of Trails Among Youth From Under-Resourced Communities
    Speakers:
    David Berrigan, David Brown, Michael Hill, Julian Reed
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: Data on the diversity of populations using trails and other outdoor spaces suggests that users do not represent the growing demographic diversity of the United States. There is limited evidence and understanding of how to engage youth from under-resourced, often low-income and diverse communities on recreational trail use. Such use could promote physical, mental and social health via physical activity, and exposure to green environments and pathways. Speakers will focus on how the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research is addressing health equity issues in childhood obesity, the importance of trails use for physical activity and opportunities for time in nature, and a summary of the findings from evidence- and practice-based reviews on effective programs to increase access to and use of trails among youth from under-resourced communities. This project is funded and supported by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research.

     



    Managing Your Community, Your Agency and YOU Through Discussions on Racial and Cultural Equity
    Speakers:
    Thomas O’Rourke, Malik Willoughby
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description: Today, more than ever, it is blatantly clear that the issues of race, equity, unity and injustice are subjects that the park and recreation profession will, and should, play a vital role in the creation of real solutions. This first order of business must start with discussion — hard and sensitive discussion. Many professionals do not know where to start, but they know they must take a first step. This session will address empathy, differences and justice toward doing our part in healing communities and the people who we serve.

     



    The Battle Over the Baton Rouge Zoo  Turning Loss in Victory for the Community
    Speakers:
    Corey Wilson
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description: Fifty years ago, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, celebrated the opening of a brand new zoo, built in a former bustling part of East Baton Rouge Parish that is now primarily composed of chemical plants and underserved, low-income neighborhoods. Historically, the zoo has not received adequate funding to continually add new exhibits and amenities from public or private sources. During an effort to create a new strategic plan for the zoo, major funders suggested changing the location would bring in enough large donations to build a brand new facility. In this session you will learn how the debate over the zoo's future turned into a political battle complete with leaked with audio tapes and information leaked to the media, high-profile animal deaths and a coordinated misinformation campaign which led to a very public defeat for Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) staff. Also, learn how this has turned into the largest single project in BREC's history, uniting the public and garnering national attention.




    Working Toward Racial Equity
    Speakers:
    Arnold Randall
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description: The Forest Preserves of Cook County (Illinois) protects nearly 70,000 acres of public land within the second most populous county in the nation. Cook County’s size and diversity is a significant strength, but its region also is plagued by significant inequities, including unequal access to nature, clean air and water and outdoor recreation opportunities. The agency has reaffirmed its commitment to promoting an infrastructure and culture that is based on equity and inclusion. The Forest Preserves has formed and empowered a Racial, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee to address issues within its organization and recently formally adopted a position paper that outlines a strategy to move the agency toward racial equity. Racial equity is achievable if we all acknowledge the depth and intensity of the problem. The agency is excited to share its progress, as well as its setbacks, to listen to and learn from its NRPA partners, and to contribute to positive change. 

  • Open or CloseHealth and Wellness

    Coaching With a Mentoring Mindset
    Speakers:
    Lauren Kiefert, Kelly Kitchens, Jilian Reece
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description:
    Do you work with youth? Would you like to learn how to help youth cultivate perseverance, self-reflection and positive decision making — which can enrich their ability to learn and grow — especially when facing challenges? In this interactive lecture, learn about evidence-based frameworks for building networks of supportive relationships for youth. This session will explore the key components and steps to effective cultivation and implementation of a mentor mindset practice (asset-based relationship building), which helps to support and build strong programs and communities. Participants will return to their settings with a varied set of resources necessary to create, leverage and sustain relationships between adults and young people.



    Enforcement With Empathy: Park Management and Homelessness During a Time of Turmoil
    Speakers:
    Andrew Emma
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Managing a vibrant, diverse downtown park is always a challenge, especially when it lies at the epicenter of the nation’s poorest big city, Philadelphia. The stakes were raised in 2020 when programs, events, and most park users vanished from sight, leaving those experiencing homelessness as the few remaining constituents. A deadly virus, civil unrest, job loss and questions around police interactions with people of color only served to brighten the spotlight on our public spaces, and force us to face new issues on the fly. Park staff became social workers, dealing with the mental illness and substance abuse at the root of these people’s struggles, while budget cuts, a lack of public restrooms, and a city fighting for racial justice all converged on a daily basis in ever-changing ways. In this session, you’ll learn how a park staff coursed their way through this year, trying simple methods to manage these issues, using patience, trust and empathy, all in a park nicknamed LOVE.



    Healthy Food, Healthy Bodies: Using Food Service Guidelines in Park and Recreation Departments
    Speakers:
    Elise Gahan, Tikilia Tinker-Martin
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    This session will explore the connection between food environments and health outcomes and the role park and recreation departments can play in promoting healthy food access. Park departments promote physical activity and well-being through their amenities and programs, and they can support the health of staff and visitors, as well as promote health equity by increasing the availability of healthy foods on park grounds. Participants will be introduced to food service guidelines (FSGs), learn the role FSGs play in ensuring access to nutritious foods/beverages, and take part in interactive discussion around promoting nutrition while maintaining customer preferences. This session is at the intermediate level of equity and inclusion in parks and recreation. Indianapolis Parks and Recreation’s experience with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and healthy vending will be shared as a case study in creating community partnerships and promoting health through food.



    Inclusive Fitness: Providing Equitable Opportunities for People With Intellectual Disabilities
    Speakers:
    Gwendolyn Apgar, Monica Klock
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    Parks play an important role in health promotion and adequate physical activity levels. Special Olympics delivers health and fitness programming for people with and without intellectual disabilities (ID) in a variety of settings, including parks and recreational facilities. Through intentionally planned and implemented activities, fitness promotes social inclusion and healthy behaviors among people of all abilities. Specifically, people with ID are capable of achieving adequate levels of fitness and improved health outcomes through inclusive programming opportunities, adapted instructions and education. This session will provide resources, showcase successful evidenced-based inclusive fitness programs, teach adaptation strategies, and introduce online trainings to make fitness programming more inclusive for people with and without ID.



    Iteration, Innovation and Collaboration: Supporting Food Access Through Farmers Markets
    Speakers:
    Maureen Neumann, Darlene Wolnik
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Using the “four Ms” of markets, “Mission, Management, Messaging, Measurement,” this session will use a COVID-19 lens to explore how by designing markets to include foundational stakeholders and regular internal analysis loops, any crisis-driven “pivot” or innovation can be leveraged to build sustainable market programs supporting food access initiatives for years to come. Each of the four Ms will be explored using food access programs and lessons learned by dozens of markets during the COVID-19 pandemic as a framework, thinking through how markets, by design, are malleable and flexible, but only by having the right pieces in place to ensure success. Topics covered will include how SNAP/WIC benefit acceptance changed the landscape of markets; the role of partnerships; stakeholder infrastructure; and more.



    Mental Health First Aid: An Overview Look of Today’s Emerging Mental Health Concerns
    Speakers:
    Craig Harley, Deborah Millar
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    An estimated one out of every five people will experience a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. Recognizing a mental health problem and knowing how to address it are invaluable skills. This hour-long training will help you identify and understand signs and symptoms of individuals who may be dealing with issues, such as depression, anxiety, substance use, trauma, psychosis and deliberate self-injury. Attendees also will learn how to respond in a mental health crisis, offer support to someone who appears to be in emotional distress, and, if necessary, guide the person to appropriate services.



    Solving Pickleball Problems 2.0
    Speakers:
    Shane Wampler
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports in the country and many park and recreation departments have implemented pickleball programs in their cities. However, recreation professionals may lack the knowledge and understanding of the game needed to fully grow the sport in their communities and to address emerging problem behaviors as the program expands. This workshop will provide tangible strategies for identifying and correcting common problem behaviors with open pickleball play, identify strategies and solutions for adding or creating more pickleball courts, and provide strategies for growing existing pickleball programs.



    Supporting Healthy Aging Among LGBTQIA+ Adults
    Speakers:
    Tiff Cunin
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    Over the past decade, there has been increasing attention given to the health of the LGBTQIA+ population, as well as to strategies that support healthy aging among adults. However, the intersection of age and LGBTQIA+ identity is often overlooked. This session will focus on the unique needs among LGBTQIA+ older adults and present strategies that park and recreation professionals should consider when developing, implementing and evaluating programs to support healthy aging among their communities. To begin, this session will provide a description of the current landscape for health among LGBTQIA+ older adults by introducing key concepts and defining constructs unique to this population. Next, presenters will provide examples of strategies that have been successful in community-based settings to engage diverse populations and improve health outcomes. Finally, this session will offer park and recreation professionals tools and resources to enhance older adult programming.



    The FitNOLA Method: Fitness Equity Through Parks and Recreation
    Speakers:
    Samuel Cook
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    In 2011, FitNOLA began as a challenge in the vein of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign. FitNOLA’s mission is to “partner to encourage healthy lifestyles in New Orleans through innovative, data-driven and evidence-based programs.” In 2013, the FitNOLA Parks Initiative was born as a partnership between the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD) and the City of New Orleans Health Department. FitNOLA has experienced exponential growth and dramatic success in recent years, offering 48 fitness classes per week at 10 recreation centers across the City of New Orleans. In 2019 alone, FitNOLA at NORD had 25,534 participants. Central to FitNOLA’s success has been the concept of equity, diversity and inclusion in fitness, working to provide no-cost fitness classes for New Orleans, introducing special needs fitness classes, hosting virtual classes, and actively recruiting, Latinx, LGBTQIA and woman coaches. This is how we did it. This is the FitNOLA Method.



    The Toolkit for Health Arts Parks and Equity (HAP-E)
    Speakers:
    Sadiya Muqueeth, Geneva Vest
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    Join The Trust for Public Land (TPL) for an introduction to The Toolkit for Health, Arts, Parks and Equity (HAP-E), a resource created for health, arts and park practitioners. The Toolkit was created in partnership between TPL and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Built on the goal of advancing health equity, The Toolkit offers a diverse array of practitioners the strategies to build toward health equity using arts and culture and parks and open spaces. It includes guiding principles, case studies and policy recommendations. The presentation series will provide an overview of the relationship between health and parks; an overview of The Toolkit of HAP-E’s principles, case studies and policy recommendations; as well as insights and lessons learned from field practice. The following moderated panel will build towards a meaningful conversation and workshop on how to apply The Toolkit in your local context.

  • Open or CloseLeadership and Personnel Management

    Data — There’s No Escape! Escape the Audit and Learn About Data Retention From an Escape Room Activity!
    Speakers:
    Jennifer Fink
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Leadership and Personnel Management      Data retention is a topic that many struggle with and it’s usually the most dreaded training in an organization. City or county records document your organization’s business. They provide information to public officials and are a link in the communication chain between your officials and their constituents. State laws require cities to maintain accurate records of all city transactions and affairs. Why not try using an escape room activity that can be replicated in your own communities, to teach yourself and staff about the basics of data and retention? Learn how use retention schedules, the basics of retention, and most importantly, how to get rid of data! This program was created by one of the State of Minnesota’s leading data specialists who sits on the committee to create the state’s data retention schedule. However, despite her job as a city clerk, she started her professional career as a recreation professional. This program is tailored for parks and recreation professionals.



    Hey, Hey, Are You OK?
    Speakers:
    Tiffanie Lai, Jesús Raygoza
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    One of the first phrases you learn in basic CPR and First Aid training, we check for responsiveness of each other by asking if the other person is OK. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the constant changing of our environments, it has been a hard year for all of us and it is okay not to be okay. As the topic of mental health continues to gain traction, navigating mental health concerns is essential for well-being. Examples on how to recognize and act on mental health concerns will illustrate how to prevent unnecessary drama and stigmatization. Specific case studies will be presented and brainstorming sessions will occur to determine how other agencies and program areas are able to navigate through live scenarios found within the workplace or participants. Through this session, presenters hope to cultivate a communal understanding, in which staff from all levels are empowered to provide in-person and virtual resources and support when we are OK, and when we are not.



    It Takes a Village: Partnering With Nonprofits to Maximize Your Credibility and Prove Essentiality
    Speakers:
    Kim Bailey, Chris Dropinski, John Henderson, Teresa Penbrooke, PhD, CPRE, Kevin Roth
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    How do we translate the research that says WE ARE relevant, credible and essential to everyday lives, and ensure that we believe it ourselves? How can we communicate and demonstrate this to allow others to see it? Park and recreation leaders work with their peers, associations, universities, and nonprofits to connect and collaborate. Hear from park and recreation thought leaders and nonprofit representatives about how they bring together knowledge and technical expertise with programming excellence and access to the people to meet the needs of our communities. You don’t have to go it alone. These successes have proven that partnerships and collaboration help tell the story of our credibility and essentiality as we work constantly to remain relevant and make a difference in the communities we serve and connect with those we are missing.



    Leadership Therapy — A Safe Place
    Speakers:
    Nick Aceves, Jen Basham, Wade Walcutt
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    How has your leadership and management changed this year? Would you like to hear from peers and colleagues on what made them more successful in a real-time problem-solving information exchange? This session will provide facilitator and peer discussion on issues regarding remote working, personnel, equity, health and wellness impacts, understanding group dynamics in a diverse workplace, the long-term impacts on mental health following a pandemic, and other topics guided by the audience’s needs. All we ask is for attendees to come and bring their thoughts on what has been tough to deal with or accomplish, and also bring things they can share with colleagues on what has worked. This will foster networking connections that can be taken back to the office for a lasting avenue of knowledge and resources.



    Next Practices for the Post-Pandemic 2020s
    Speakers:
    Neelay Bhatt, Leon Younger
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description:
    As we start thinking about what a post-pandemic world may look like in the future, this session will help attendees think of next practices they want to shape, in order to design an inclusive, welcoming and financially/environmentally sustainable park and recreation agency. In these increasingly unpredictable times with changing demographics and technologies, the session also will share insights for how to build an agency culture and mindset that can innovate and thrive in chaos and embrace change as park and recreation agencies look to continue playing the role of essential components that sustain the community’s very fabric and way of life.



    We Need an Intern! Creating a Quality Internship Program: Part 1
    Speakers:
    Julie Knapp, Mary Parr, John Stutzman, Lakita Watson
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description:
    The internship experience is a critical investment in the future of the park and recreation profession and professional workforce. Interns gain firsthand experience in the work-life of a park and recreation professional and, in turn, provide agencies with skilled and motivated employees. This session, part one of two, focuses on creating an internship program that benefits the department and fulfills the student’s requirements. Participants will identify suitable work activities, in order to meet specific learning objectives, while also addressing recruitment, mentorship and other issues related to the development of quality park and recreation internship programs. The targeted audience for this session is practitioners interested in creating mutually beneficial internship experiences. This session will consist of small group and large group discussions moderated by panelists from NRPA’s Leadership Development Network, Young Professional Network and Education Network.



    We Need an Intern! Creating a Quality Internship Program: Part 2
    Speakers:
    Matt Colwell, Amanda D'Agostino, Julie Knapp, Mary Parr, John Stutzman, Lakita Watson
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description:
    The internship experience is a critical stage in the development of future park and recreation professionals. Students in recreation and leisure service curriculums, when properly engaged and motivated, provide agencies with skilled, productive and innovative employees. This session adds the final component to Part 1, the student perspective, while discussing how internships impact the future workforce, student desires and expectations in pursuit of their internship fit and preparing for all the logistics of an accredited university internship. This session teaches participants the internship “trifecta of perspectives”: understanding the investment in the future of the profession, learning what students want and expect, and knowing how to overcome logistical challenges students face in obtaining an accredited university’s internship. The session will consist of small- and large-group discussions moderated by a panel of current students, educators and practitioners.

  • Open or ClosePlanning, Design and Maintenance

    A Custodian’s Tale
    Speakers:
    Craig Bouck, Jason Ringdahl
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    When designing and planning for a new recreation center, it’s easy to get caught up in form over function or focus solely on the guest experience. What would be helpful is to change your viewpoint to consider all users of the space to design the most efficient center possible. Join us as we lift the design blinders by putting yourself in the often-forgotten shoes of a recreation center custodian. Presenters will go room by room, completing a custodian’s check-list to get an empathetic look at how design can positively impact every user!



    Grit and Gravel
    Speakers:
    Ylda Capriccioso
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    This session will share one fast-growing Texas town’s journey to create trails despite various social and political barriers to get community support for trail projects. Presenters will look at how to address residents’ fears about crime, loss of privacy, noise, depreciating or increasing property values, and other issues that are often raised when trying to get public support for new trails in urban settings. Gain ideas and solutions for getting projects implemented through community coalitions, public-private partnerships and engagement activities to make trail connections a reality. Other social barriers that will be explored include fiscal concerns, such as concerns about lack of maintenance and operations funding, potential environmental impacts, and eminent domain. Speakers also will share how third-party partners help buffer the public engagement process to most effectively address these social barriers in a manner that is respectful and builds consensus.



    Inclusion Matters: Creating Conditions of Possibility in Outdoor Play Environments
    Speakers:
    Keith Christensen, Jennie Sumrell
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    Park and recreation professionals have championed outdoor inclusive play destinations for years; however, there has been a lack of valid research to help make a data-driven case. Do these outdoor environments really change the possibility of enhanced play experiences? Can the environmental design impact play behaviors between children of all abilities? Are their play behaviors similar or different? Discover evidence-based design best practices to create inclusive play destinations that support increased congruent play behaviors between children with and without disabilities to break down both physical and social barriers to participate in more meaningful ways! Research findings and data from observational behavior mapping within individual behavior settings offer new insight on the types, modes and complexity of play behaviors between children with and without disabilities.



    Parks Build Community Even During a Pandemic
    Speakers:
    Rachel Banner
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description:
    This year’s Parks Build Community project, Lynnbrook Park, has been like the rest of the year — all but normal. It restores a natural stream. It provides a space for local food production. It was designed by a local resident and artist with community cultural events and art festivals. It was jointly managed by park and recreation professionals and stormwater professionals. It includes donated bridges. It gained support from new sponsors. Sometimes, not normal is a good thing. It challenges us to re-think our work and center our values. In this session, join NRPA, the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Chattanooga community and philanthropic partners to learn how despite the many challenges of a pandemic, economic recession and racial reckoning, we can build back stronger.



    Practical Planning With Equity at the Center
    Speakers:
    Shanyanika McElroy, Sarah Olson, Paul Simmons
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    Not sure how to apply an equity lens to your comprehensive plan? Interested in making data-driven decisions on capital investments but don’t know where to start? Need support for prioritizing maintenance beyond the squeaky wheel? Join the cities of Seattle, Olympia, and Lynnwood, Washington, on their collaborative journey to explore and evaluate park access, level of service, investment strategies, using geographic information system (GIS) and big data, and asset management done — all done with equity at the center. Go behind the curtain with real examples and practical ways to enhance your agency’s planning efforts, storytelling and policymaking to build a more inclusive, equitable and welcoming park system.



    Programming for Inclusive Public Space
    Speakers:
    Diana Fernandez, Naria Kiani, Elaine Limmer, Jennifer Ng
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    What are the implications of increasing demographic multiplicity for public space? Rooted in the proposition that diversity enhances public life, this panel will explore how planners and designers can create public spaces that affirm cultural difference rather than neutralize it. The panelists will present ways that park practitioners can imagine approaches to programming and create long-lasting processes that embed inclusivity in our cities’ open spaces. This session will include discussion of the values that ground equitable open space planning and design supported by concrete project examples of how these ideas have been implemented. The speakers will bring planning knowledge enriched by a variety of experiences, including experience with successful temporary activation program implementation in a Latinx neighborhood of Los Angeles, programming to welcome low-income visitors, public spaces in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and academic research into cultural landscapes.



    Thiwahe kičhičho skal upi kte (Families Come Together to Play)
    Speakers:
    Tatewin Means, Kimberly Pelkofsky
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    The trauma of generations of policies that have undermined the identity and way of life of the Oglala Lakȟóta manifests in high rates of abuse, suicide, incarceration and health disparities. Yet, there is a movement to shift from focusing on the impacts of colonization to liberation and healing. Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (TVCDC) has adopted a liberation model that starts with healing from historical and lived traumas perpetuated by systemic racism through a reconnection to the Lakȟóta way of life. It is constructing a new community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to create a physical place that supports this work. TVCDC’s multigenerational playground demonstrates the key role of design in this process. At the same time, TVCDC works to create allies out of design partners, donors and community members who are resistant to challenging the status quo. In doing so, it aims to develop best practices to create positive change within oppressed communities.



    Tried and True Tools for Enhancing Park Access
    Speakers:
    Stacie Anaya, Frank Carson, Jared Mummert, Thomas McCourt
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description:
    In the United States, 100 million people do not have access to a high-quality park within a 10-minute walk of home. For the past three years, NRPA has worked with 32 communities to enhance park access through planning, policy and funding strategies. These communities used data collection and analysis, enhanced their community engagement, developed master plans, convened stakeholders and implemented innovative strategies to close their 10-minute walk gap. This session will feature park and recreation professionals who have embarked on this park access journey and highlight the tools and strategies they are using to enhance park access.

  • Open or CloseProgramming

    Celebrating Community Through Culturally Diverse Arts Programming — What Does This Type of Programming Look Like? How Can You Make This Happen in Your Community to Engage New Audiences?
    Speakers:
    Cheryl Anne Colton, Gathoni Kamau
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Demographics of our communities increasing reflects immigrant populations — from the Middle East, China, South America, Mexico and Africa. Paradigm shifts in programming need to occur to be more inclusive to integrate and reflect the changing culture. Linguistics and social economic barriers need to be addressed. Are the marketing tools we are using the right tools? Are there different ways to communicate and provide access to the cultural programs? Are we offering the right type of cultural programs? This session will challenge the attendees to learn the cultural backgrounds of their community, and suggest ways they may not have considered in developing culturally diverse programming.



    Engaging Diverse Teens in Your Park Programs Through Unconventional Sports and Virtual Esports Gaming         
    Speakers:
    Adrian Loza, Maya Solis
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Engaging teens in park programs is a challenge for all organizations, especially in 2020 during the pandemic. Learn how the Chicago Park District (CPD) faced the challenge head-on through unconventional programs and events, including virtual gaming, to attract and retain teens from diverse communities. CPD launched its first-ever esports tournament on a virtual platform for Chicago area teens ages 13 to 17. This program incorporated workshops that focused on careers in esports, competitive gaming and ways to host successful tournaments. This session also will share some of the innovative, in-person programs CPD developed like the GO Grind Series, a showcase of skateboarders, BMX riders and a graffiti wall, which offers a series of free clinics and races taught by expert skateboard and BMX coaches. This program is done in partnership with Chicago Action Sports. This is an exciting time with skateboarding making its Olympic debut in the next games.



    Events for Everyone! Ensuring Equity in Your Events
    Speakers:
    David Mitchell, Cortney Weinstock
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Ever wonder why your favorite concert series always takes place at the same park on the other side of town from you? Do you choose to attend or not attend a festival or event due to access, cost, redundancy, location or beliefs? Oftentimes, event planners stick with safe locations, themes, partners and costs due to what’s worked in the past and what they know without taking an event inventory of their offerings through the equity lens. As event planners in the public service profession, ensuring that our services and events take place in all parts of our communities, making sure they are relevant to all citizens of these communities, and reducing known barriers to participation are crucial to building communities. This session will help you plan your events with an equity lens from pre-planning to implementation to your post-event evaluation.



    Genius or Insanity? Three Proven Examples of Why It’s Worth the Effort to Build Engaging, Meaningful and Inclusive Cross-Park Programs
    Speakers:
    Dave Burman, Victor  Jones, Liana Vitali
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    As park and recreation professionals, we strive to build programs that engage our visitors in meaningful learning and recreation while working diligently to close the park access gap by demanding equity and affordability for all. While a huge task for individual parks, the staff at Anne Arundel County (Maryland) Recreation and Parks sought to expand further, working since 2016 to build a suite of environmental education programs spanning its department and leveraging the unique assets of its parks, partnerships and local communities. These include the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association award-winning Bay Invaders 9th grade environmental science program empowering 1,500 students to remove 2,000 pounds of invasive plants from parks, its quarterly creative “Ask A Ranger” web series, and the agency’s new Nature Escape program that safely engages about 300 children in eight weeks of nature-based activities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In this session, participants will learn our proven strategies for building cross-park programs that positively impact our parks and communities.



    Programming for the Future: Connecting the Dots Between Equity, Program Planning and Priority-Based Budgeting
    Speakers:
    Chris Bass
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    COVID-19 has forced us to become both cautious and creative with how we offer leisure services. With the demand for recreation programming increasing and budgets decreasing, park and recreation agencies are tasked with the challenging job of doing more with less. In addition to dealing with the fiscal knife, the equity gap continues to grow wider as park and recreation professionals face the challenges of providing services for underserved populations. It is clear now more than ever that the need for equitable programming is essential to our communities. In this session, speakers will identify strategies to develop an effective recreation program plan that is budget friendly and considers equity when determining programming goals and objectives.



    Return to Play: Post-COVID-19 Challenges
    Speakers:
    Lisa Barrera, Colleen Cline
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Social deprivation, anxiety and mental health issues are becoming more common in all ages across the United States. With the youth population losing a year of sharing, interaction, play and not being able to utilize/enhance their coping skills with peers, it’s up to us to help them recover those life skills. As professionals, we need to prepare our staff for all individuals returning to our programs. We must introduce them to what challenges they might face, to have the ability to guide our youth through challenges. Presenters will break down training activities and role-play scenarios that you can implement in trainings that will empower your staff with the ability to handle individuals who will struggle when they return to recreational programs. It’s our time to re-learn how to play!

  • Open or ClosePublic Relations and Marketing

    How to be Heard (Without Screaming!)
    Speakers:
    Brenda Viola
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description:
    Have you ever felt like the teacher in a Peanuts cartoon? Your lips are moving...but no one’s really hearing you. It’s one thing to put information out — but how do you get THROUGH? That’s the art of effective communication, and this workshop will reveal tools to help you be heard, including: the power of preparation, sound bites (not just for TV interviews!), bridging back to your talking points and the secret to eloquence. Whether making a case for budget dollars, speaking at a podium, being interviewed by a reporter or simply speaking up in a staff meeting, your voice is important. Brenda Viola’s “HEARD” method was developed during her years as a news anchor/reporter and also addresses the pitfalls to speaking effectively while underscoring the importance of listening, too. Good communication is a key to success in business and in life. This workshop will empower you to connect the dots to get your message across.



    Let the Word Go Forth – Marketing Strategies for 2021 and Beyond
    Speakers:
    Paul Gilbert, William Sanchez
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    This session will be co-led by William Sanchez, Town of Miami Lakes, and Paul Gilbert, NOVA Parks. To succeed in today’s environment, park and recreation agencies must market their programs and services effectively. This session looks at a wide range of marketing approaches and techniques from web-based, mass media, targeted customer outreach to boots-on-the-ground community engagement. Combining the best in current marketing theory to real-life experiences, this session will offer actionable step that agencies of any size can implement to better reach their communities and customers.



    Looking at Your Customers in a New Light
    Speakers:
    Bobbi Nance
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    When it comes to our customers, whether we’re referring to them, marketing to them or reporting on them, we continually use the same basic reductive categories, like age, gender and zip code, to describe them. But we can have a much bigger impact if we dig deeper and find new insights based on their past behavior, purchases and preferences. Presenters will walk through different techniques you can use, from simple observations to detailed data dives, to better understand your customers and look at real-life examples that will inspire you to see them in a new light (and, hopefully, steal a few ideas to implement at your own organization). With the potential to positively impact everything from equity to income, don’t miss this chance to create a whole new definition of target markets and better engage and serve your community.



    Online or On-Site: Conducting Equitable Community Engagement Across Digital and Analog Platforms
    Speakers:
    Andrew Dawson, Mikey Goralnik, Mario Nastari
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Virtual Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled stream time)
    Description:
    Best practices for equitable engagement are often geared toward being in the community and making your project as physically accessible as possible. The community engagement process that WRT, LLC, a planning and design company, used for the Tunitas Creek Beach Project in California during 2020 was entirely virtual. This was in contrast to the Mariposa Creek (California) Parkway Project in 2019, which had no virtual presence and relied entirely on in-person outreach. This session will summarize the different approaches for these projects to better understand their advantages and disadvantages, as well as their effectiveness and ability to reach community members who are often left out of typical park planning processes, even during a pandemic. Panelists from Mariposa County and San Mateo County, along with the WRT project manager for both projects, will discuss key lessons learned, obstacles, benefits, unforeseen complications and logistical considerations, and share success stories around the use of digital and analog methods to engage a diverse constituency.



    The Secret Language of Seniors: Marketing to the 55+ Population
    Speakers:
    Cosmo Wollan
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    The 55+ population continues to be one of the most overlooked, undervalued markets in the fitness business. Social media presence, interactive blogs and digital communities are great to reach the Gen Xers and millennials, but baby boomers, the 55+ demographic who often have more time and money, need to be engaged in ways that are organic to their tastes and preferences. We will explore some of the pitfalls of relying on contemporary ‘digital’ marketing to attract the 55+ members and discuss some of the options that better connect with, and are more easily understood by, this all-important target demographic. Many health clubs are undervaluing or ignoring this important demographic. Park and recreation district fitness facilities can capture what the commercial clubs miss and in doing so, create lifelong, loyal members and boost community engagement.



    We’re All Mad Men: Shifting to a Marketing-First Mindset
    Speakers:
    Ann Beck
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Odds are, you don’t have a degree in marketing. You might have a background in landscaping design, physical education or planning. You might have fallen into the park and recreation world by chance and found a calling you were passionate about. It just probably wasn’t marketing. The thing is: it doesn't matter. We’re all in marketing now. By definition, marketing is the process by which goods or services move from concept to consumer. Everything we do — from signage to maintenance to service to the classes and events themselves — every single factor affects the overall impression of our department. We are all marketing, all the time, with every action taken and choice made. The bad news is: you just got another job title. The good news, however, is that you’re not alone. In this session, speakers will cover how to evaluate your department with a marketing mindset, identify gaps and strengths, and implement changes big and small to ensure your parks and programs are leaving the right impression.

  • Open or CloseRevenue Development

    ‘Bond...Park Bond.’
    Speakers:
    Jay Byars, Ryan Cambridge, Pegeen Hanrahan, Barbara Hernandez
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    It is no secret that in 2021 and the years to come, park departments will need to find alternative funding sources in order to thrive! This session will explore the ins and outs of various ballot-based funding mechanisms, including the $150 million Doral Parks Bond and the $439 million G.O. Miami Beach bond, both approved by voters in 2018. In addition, Pegeen Hanrahan from The Trust for Public Land will do a deeper dive into other alternative ballot-based measures, such as voter-approved sales tax increases, which also can support public lands. This session will explore, through the lenses of those tasked with planning, passing and implementing different types of ballot-based funding measures and what factors and strategies help make them successful in communities of varying sizes and contexts.



    Demystifying Land Dedication and Development Fees: Tools to Fairly and Equitably Ensure Residential Growth Pays Its Own Way for a High-Quality Park and Recreation System
    Speakers:
    Jeff Milkes
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    Over the next 20 years, population across the United States is projected to grow by 10 percent. This will require new parks, trails and open spaces, as absorbing growth is no longer an option. As administrators, you must fairly and equitably finance growth to maintain a high-quality system. One of the best tools available is a well-thought-out land dedication and development fee policy, designed to ensure that “growth pays its own way.”

    During this session, participants will be introduced to funding methodologies and the important financial and legal ramifications inherent in land dedication and development policies. Participants will be introduced to the math and tools used to determine appropriate fees. Presenters will discuss the importance of using an equity lens and the impact of discounting fees for underserved communities. Participants will “do the math” with examples and leave with a checklist on the important steps needed to create, implement and review policy.



    Did COVID-19 Kill Cost Recovery?
    Speakers:
    Michael Klitzing
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person | Virtual Live Stream | Virtual On-Demand (available after the scheduled live stream time)
    Description:
    Well, the simple answer is yes! But let’s be real, at best, this will only be tolerated by elected leaders in the short run. How do agencies with high-cost recovery mandates succeed in a post-pandemic world? We will review the immediate impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on a two-time National Gold Medal agency, which has historically achieved 100 percent cost recovery on its community center and programming. We also will explore the strategies being implemented to reimagine our revenue operations for a sustainable future. Come prepared to share how your agency is pivoting to generate income in this new era.



    Show Me the Money! Federal Resources Available for Your Department
    Speakers:
    Elvis Cordova, Kyle Simpson
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    During this session, presenters will discuss federal resources that are out there to potentially help your department financially.



    Sponsorship Success for Your Special Events
    Speakers:
    Nancy Pfeffer
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    This session provides key elements for implementing a successful relationship with corporate sponsors. Upon completion, participants will understand the critical importance of developing corporate donor relationships, how to rate corporate prospects, what the process is to solicit sponsors, how to develop sponsorship materials, and how to create successful relationships. In challenging fiscal times, new sources of revenue are needed to supplement programs and services. Many park and recreation departments are cutting operating and program budgets and employees are asked to do more with less. A corporate sponsorship plan and program can provide one solution to sustaining qualities of service and provide a way to build relationships with supporters in local communities.



    Unique Continuous Funding Ideas for Park and Recreation Departments
    Speakers:
    Jeff Gaffney, Rebecca Hurley
    CEUs:
    0.1
    Delivery Format: Nashville In-Person
    Description:
    This session will explore the multiple types of revenue streams that the Santa Cruz (California) County Parks has developed that can be implemented in other park and recreation agencies to bring new sources of continuous revenue to their agencies. The topics discussed are outside of the regularly sought-out revenue generators for park and recreation departments and will be useful during hard economic times amidst the post COVID-19 economic climates. The ideas that will be discussed include developing parking programs and navigating the management of those programs, public land encroachment permits, especially in areas of high tourism and campground development. Session participants will be led in a lecture-style presentation — prior to working in small groups on developing their own unique funding sources, working together on navigating the different processes to manage them along with the best partnerships for coordinating them.