Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Learning from Traveling

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Learning from Traveling

Article excerpt

WHEN I AN BUSIEST, I AN LEARNING THE MOST, and I never learn so much as when I travel on behalf of NRPA. In the month of June alone, I visited five states to meet with professionals, industry suppliers, the media, and members of NRPA's board of directors. Sure, I share a lot with my hosts, but their eagerness to teach me so I can better represent all my constituencies--professionals, members and just as important, the public--is exciting and crucial to the success of NRPA. Here's a sampling of what I learned from my travels in June.

In Minneapolis, Michele Snyder, Executive Director of Minnesota Parks & Recreation Association, schooled me on their 2010 Congress Host Committee's special events program that has something for everyone: a golf tournament, a 5K run/walk, off-site institutes, leisure tours, and my favorite, the "Leave it Better" project. This project brings together the public and the field to build a park. As you plan your trip for Congress make sure to volunteer with this project. No other event captures what we do better than this.

Just outside of Minneapolis in Delano, President Pat Faust and his team at Landscape Structures Inc. showed me the "inside" story of this multi-brand playground company. I always knew LSI had a strong environmental ethic, but it was an extremely illuminating experience to observe how every facet of LSI's manufacturing process ensures no harm will come to the environment through their efforts.

In Houston, Texas, I saw firsthand how a large, complex, and diverse city can create and continuously improve on a model parks and recreation system. …

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