Notable News

October 1, 2015, Department, by NRPA

Robert L. Reid- Longtime members of the NRPA community will recall the immense influence of Robert L. “Bob” Reid Sr., 83, who died July 23 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Reid graduated in 1953 from Erskine College with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and joined Leroy Springs & Co. (LSC) in 1956 as the recreation director. He retired as president and CEO of LSC in 1996, after serving in several positions and on the board of directors. He worked tirelessly alongside Anne Close, a former chair of NRPA’s Board of Trustees, in the initial planning and development of the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and was a driving force in its opening to the public in 1995. He served in leadership capacities in state and national parks and recreation associations, was a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association, where he served three years as president, and had been an NRPA member since 1961. He was also the past president of the Field Trial Association, a group that he held dear. Close remarked, “Throughout his career, Bob was a visionary who developed programs and services that created camaraderie and friendships within our community. His informal leadership style and great humor created a wonderful working environment for staff while developing programs recognized throughout the industry for their excellence. His career reflected his own love of the outdoors and recreation, and his desire to share it with others.”

- After 43 years of dedication to the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, Perry Ehresman, deputy director for leisure services, retired August 28. Ehresman worked his way through college with the parks and recreation department, beginning with the after-school recreation program and then in the park’s summer programs. He opened the Reservoir Park’s Cooper Recreation Center in 1975 and was hired as an athletics supervisor in 1979. As deputy director for leisure, he supervised a staff of 25 full-time and about 300 part-time, seasonal and contractual employees. Ehresman served on the boards of almost every youth sports program, along with Fort Wayne Sports Corp., YMCA and about two dozen other organizations over the years. He was featured in an August 23, issue of the, where he’s quoted as saying, “It’s really been cool to be part of the growth and the tradition of the parks department. It’s not just about the parks; it’s about the people who put in a lot of time. I got paid for what I did, but a lot of people put in a lot of time as volunteers to make these organizations work and make them what they are today.” Ehresman plans to spend his time traveling with his wife, fishing, golfing and spoiling his less-than-one-year-old grandson.


- Custom products manufacturer Themed Concepts announced that it has partnered with three children’s charities: Feed My Starving Children, Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, and Give Kids the World Village, to develop the Play4Change project, an effort to directly benefit children who struggle with hunger, pediatric cancer and life-threatening illness. Themed Concepts has been working on the development of this project for the past three-and-a-half years. Each of Play4Change’s three guiding principles — children’s hunger, health and hope — is espoused by one of the three charities with which Themed Concepts has partnered. Anyone who buys one of Themed Concepts’ sculptures will be actively feeding the hungry, treating the sick and giving vacations to children who need them. Themed Concepts’ Play4Change product line has a mission to donate $1 million of its revenue to these three charities during the next five years. 


- The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, and Green Mountain Power are planning to take the Emerald Lake State Park in Dorset off the grid by turning the park into an “ePark,” powered primarily by solar energy. The plan is to replace an existing power line with solar panels that can generate up to 10 megawatts of electricity. The solar generation would be supplemented by new batteries that store electricity and allow power to be available regardless of whether the sun is shining. Installation is expected to start in the spring. Mary Powell, the president of GMP, says the project is a “great example” of what the state park’s energy future will look like.


- In a September 3 article titled, “Will your college major land you a job after graduation?” reporter Mark Huffman writes about a recent study conducted by researchers at Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), working in association with employment site The study looked at post-recession trends in education and compared them with trends in hiring, and one of the finding is that there was a 45 percent increase in demand for degrees in natural resources and conservation. Demand for graduates with a background in parks, recreation, leisure and fitness was up 44 percent, exceeding demand for experts in math and statistics, which rose just 35 percent.