Magazine article Parks & Recreation

If You Want to Go Far

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

If You Want to Go Far

Article excerpt

I don't know about you, but on occasion I find myself feeling stuck in the "stuff" that surrounds me. Especially at the end of winter, a little bit of the blues can set in. At those times it's good to get shots of others' enthusiasm--and to catch the energy of colleagues who are excited about a shared mission.

During the month of March and the first week of April, I had the good fortune to travel to Houston, Texas; Long Beach, California; Washington, D.C.--and, finally, New Orleans.

In Texas and California I toured parks and visited with the leadership of the Texas Recreation and Park Association and the California Recreation and Park Society. Both states are key to the future of American parks. Both have growing, diverse populations. And both are navigating enormous--and well-publicized--budget challenges.

Such great challenges, in fact, that you might expect the leaders of those organizations to show signs of stress or flagging optimism. Not so. Texas and California have dynamic, enthusiastic leaders--people who are meeting the daunting challenges head-on, and making a difference in their communities.

We talked about NRPA, about what the Association is doing, and about what we can do to help. I mentioned our new Premier Agency membership model. If you haven't heard details about it yet, you soon will. With the Premier Package you will be able to sign up all of your full-time employees for all the benefits of NRPA, offering them full access to continuing education webinars, the online edition of Parks & Recreation, and numerous discounts on products and services.

This new membership package comes as a direct response to your requests and feedback--especially your concerns that younger professionals entering the field be included. We heard you, and we acted.

We talked about advocacy. We have been examining or messaging carefully, and we will continue to tell the story--and assert the value--of parks and rec. And as long as I'm on the subject of NRPA's advocacy efforts, I have a question for you. Have you completed your PRORAGIS profile online so that your agency's data can be a part of the first-ever national database for parks and public lands? We have great plans for that data. It will provide the foundation upon which NRPA can create specific, numbers-based, messages about the impact of parks in our nation. …

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