Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Perspectives: Making a Life by Giving: What It Means to Give Back through Parks and Recreation

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Perspectives: Making a Life by Giving: What It Means to Give Back through Parks and Recreation

Article excerpt

I've been reflecting on the past year, on my time as a member of NRPA on the Board of Trustees and the fact that the 2006 NRPA Congress & Exposition in Seatfie, Wash., will bring to a close my term as president of NRPA.

However, just because my term is ending doesn't mean the dedication ends for others. The dreams and work of so many in this association from across the country for so many years--dreams that have become the current vision for the future of NRPA and public parks and recreation--will continue to evolve.

I came across a quote in our local community theater newsletter that brought focus to my thoughts. "You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give." This message rings true for all of us.

I thought back to my college advisor and mentor, Dr. LaVernia Jorgensen (Dr. J.), at the University of North Dakota, an NRPA member since 1965. She told me early on that she would teach me how to drink coffee and buy lunch. Dr. J also taught me that I wouldn't get rich in parks and recreation with money, but rich in many other ways. She taught me how to develop and maintain relationships, both personally and professionally. She taught me about giving back to what has been given to me--it was really about making a life.

Don Jolly (NRPA President, 1990, from Salina, Kan.) inspired me as a young professional in 1978 to be sincere about the field, work hard and give back whenever I could. He was saying the same thing--to have a real life I needed to give personally and professionally to create a balance between home, faith, school, play and work. …

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