Successful park and recreation department leaders are in tune with rising challenges and national trends. That’s why at the NRPA Annual Conference, we provide the Directors’ Corner, a unique learning space where leaders from across the country come together to collaborate on cutting-edge issues, learn from some of the top minds in the industry and beyond, and take home practical, achievable solutions.
The sessions offered in the Directors’ Corner have become some of the most popular at the conference not only because of the high-level speakers, but also for their level of interactivity. This year’s line-up includes topics, such as design thinking, homelessness, urban infrastructure, urban carbon credits, renewable energy, advocacy, capital investment strategies, among other timely topics and trends. Following are details about just a few of the sessions:
Living STEAM Laboratories: Mitigating/Adapting to Climate Change
The natural resources of parks and recreation are an invaluable defense to climate change. This interactive discussion is designed to help park and recreation professionals jumpstart “Living Laboratory” programs within their agencies. These programs showcase the innovative ways parks and their partners can adapt to the world’s environmental issues and raise conservation awareness. With parks as the venue, educators can engage students using hands-on, experiential, research-based STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) curricula to foment a new wave of environmental leaders. The successful implementation of these programs will position parks as incubators for the environmental revolution needed to mitigate climate change. Speakers: John Pipoly, Ph.D., and Attiyya Atkins
Predicting Trends for the 2020s
As we near the end of one decade, our thoughts naturally turn to what the next one will bring. This session is designed to help participants predict trends and plan for future shifts in an increasingly unpredictable time with changing demographics and rapidly evolving technologies. The presenters will share insights on how to build an agency culture and mindset that can innovate and thrive in this changing landscape, as park and recreation agencies look to changes to their communities, policies, park and facility designs, financial sustainability, marketing and communications, partnerships, program delivery and innovation in general. Speakers: Neelay Bhatt and Leon Younger
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered as part of Directors’ Corner and attendance will be limited to 175 people, available on a first-come, first-served basis. For the complete Directors’ Corner schedule, visit www.nrpa.org/conference.
Josh Yavelberg is NRPA's Director of Professional Development.