Perspectives: My First Year as Chairman: Looking Back on This Past Year, the Association Has Made Great Strides

Article excerpt

It is difficult to find a way to best summarize the growth experienced by the association and the park and recreation field this past year.

There have been numerous and notable successes. In advocacy, momentum developed at the NRPA National Legislative Forum on Parks and Recreation that contributed to preserving the Land and Water Conservation Fund program. Members also worked hard to show legislators the importance of park-related components of the Transportation Bill, which turned into funding of $3.5 billion over five years for trail enhancements.

Our National Partnerships department can be extremely proud of the ever-expanding grant program with the United States Tennis Association, delivering money in grants to communities for tennis. The resounding national response to the NFL/Step Up to Health Summits and Sports Illustrated-Dodge/ Good Sports programs, just to name a few, has paved the way for future research into the connection between recreation and health.

NRPA has also taken the first steps to providing an urban agenda for city park and recreation departments nationwide. The Urban Park Summit initiated by NRPA, and supported by the National Recreation Foundation, launched with impressive response, endorsing our initiative to build an urban park and recreation agenda for cities of all sizes.

More internally, monthly review of the association's economic status and long range budgeting have been the key ingredients of maintaining our financial stability. The three-year extension and acceptance of John Thorner to remain as executive director provides the association and staff with the continuity that should assure work still in progress will proceed. …