Change always brings with it a mixture of emotions, most notably excitement and anxiety — excitement about what’s to come but anxiety about what those changes may be/mean for the individual and their “community.” Over the past two months, we here at headquarters have had the pleasure of welcoming and getting to know NRPA’s new president and CEO, Kristine Stratton. And, in another month, at the 2019 NRPA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know her a bit better as well. In this short time, however, one thing is apparent, she is not afraid of change, and her excitement about carrying us through this next chapter in the NRPA history books is contagious. We hope you’re excited, too!
Parks and Recreation recently had the opportunity to spend some time with Stratton to learn what drives her passion for the environment, health and wellness and issues of justice and equity. In “A Park and Rec Kid Comes Full Circle” on page 38, she shares how her past experiences have informed her career path and continue to drive her passion.
Taking on a new initiative can also cause that same mixture of the emotions of excitement and anxiety, as you look at a goal you’re trying to achieve through a different lens. In “The Rural Connection” on page 44, contributor Vitisia Paynich delves into the efforts of two rural park agencies — Bennettsville, South Carolina, and Winooski, Vermont — tasked with helping to fulfill the 10-Minute Walk pledge of ensuring all their residents are within a 10-minute walk of a park. See what underlying issues they discovered as they went through the process of doing the research for and completing the grant application.
Finally, the NRPA Annual Conference is a multifaceted event and, starting on page 50, we provide tips and details about several of the unique learning opportunities and events scheduled to take place this year in Baltimore. Check out the exhibitor listing to see the breadth of products and services that you can, in many cases, literally take for a test ride. The annual conference is, after all, the largest gathering of knowledge and product experts in the country!
We hope to see you in Baltimore, where you’ll have the chance to meet the new president and CEO, connect with old and make some new friends and discover new ways of managing some existing challenges or some new-to-you ideas to take back home and implement.
Sonia Myrick is Executive Editor for Parks & Recreation magazine.