Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Trailblazers: Passionate about Parks

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Trailblazers: Passionate about Parks

Article excerpt

Ellen O'Sullivan makes the link between health and parks and recreation.

Name: Ellen O'Sullivan, PhD, CPRP

Title: President and Principal, Leisure Lifestyle Consulting

Member since: 1983

Ellen O'Sullivan is a kid at heart. She says that from the time she went to her first camp, she thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world. "I was probably the first person that ever told my guidance counselor that I wanted to be a camp counselor," she explains. That love of recreation has continued throughout her life. She may not be a camp counselor, but she's playing on the same field.

Her recent projects include developing curricula for NRPA's Step Up to Health program and coordinating the Florida Recreation and Park Association's marketing campaign for the recreation and park profession. An author of many park and recreation-related publications and a former professor of recreation and leisure studies at Southern Connecticut State University, it is not surprising that she was named by the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration as a "Legend in Parks and Recreation" in 2000. O'Sullivan not only enjoys recreation, but has given a lifelong commitment to the field.

Future of parks and recreation: "The future of parks and recreation is going to be 'back to the future'-we are coming full circle, recapturing what Joseph Lee and Frederick Olmsted were all about. We're going to go back into really supporting the important things for people. Olmsted visualized places and spaces where people could connect with one another and Lee talked about play all the time. …

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