Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Conquering Congress

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Conquering Congress

Article excerpt

Our three Congress rookies dive into the sights and sounds of Seattle to report on what it is like to attend the conference for the first time.

In our September issue, Parks & Recreation introduced readers to three members who have never attended NRPA's Congress. We asked them to document their experiences throughout the week and describe what they saw. These "rookie reporters" came away with new information that they brought back to their own communities, new appreciation for the city of Seattle and new friendships that will last a lifetime.

Take a look at what they wrote as they weaved their way through the sessions, parties and events of NRPA's Congress and the city of Seattle.

Tuesday/ Oct. 10

Jeff Lloyd:

I arrived mid-afternoon for the Armed Forces Recreation Society (APRS) Awards Banquet at the Hilton in Bellevue, Wash. It was a beautiful event where I met some wonderful people associated with APRS and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR). I met a young, wounded Army veteran-his right arm was amputated from Iraq war wounds-he is great guy with an amazing story, and now works with APRS in Washington, D.C. and regularly sees highly influential people in government ranks.

Andrea Anzelone:

Today was a planned site-seeing day. I spent a lot of the day at The Public Market at Pike's Place. I absolutely loved the shops and booths that were set up-everything is very colorful. Seeing the flamous fish market was exciting and it was a great place for souvenirs. In the later part of the afternoon, I took a ferry ride for an hour tour around the bay, but I eventually made it over to the convention center to check in. Later, I attended the NTRS Poster Session which was a great idea and a good way to network. I was able to obtain good ideas from other organizations and I was very proud to see that my organization (the City of Las Vegas) was recognized there as well. Afterwards, we did a little more shopping and ended up at Fox Bar and Grill for dinner.

Nancy Wallerstein:

After picking up the convention bag, I was off to a half-day Off Site Institute (OSI) tour on "Adaptive Reuse-Seattle's Historic Bathhouses." Visiting a former synagogue, now the home of the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, kicked off visits to a series of buildings renovated and now used as art venues. Seattle's Parks and Recreation Manager Maureen O'Neill and 4Culture's Flo Lentz guided us through a wonderful and imaginative tour, where we visited two former bath-houses that are now used as a pottery and dance studios. We also saw a former Wonder-Bread facility now used as the Pratt Fine Arts Center, an incubator for metal fabrication, casting, stained glass, glass blowing, print making, blacksmithing, etc.

Historic preservation seemed to be the theme for my day, and I attended a session titled "The Power of Place: Historic Preservation the in the Public's Hands." Highlighted was the Brookings Institute Report that reconfirmed that historic tourism stays are 4.76 nights long and participants spend 78 percent more than other visitors. A surprising fact was that 80 percent of historic sites lack an emergency plan and the staff is unprepared to deal with disasters. Later, I went to a fabulous seafood dinner at Elliott's restaurant down on the wharf with members of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and friends.

Wednesday, Oct. 11:

Jeff:

Today I attended the "External Funding Strategies" session-great information mainly focused toward municipal parks regarding, sponsorship, donations, partnerships and developing grant proposals. As I will see later in the week, many people flock to the sessions that focus on funding. The speaker Chris Nunes from Fort Morgan was exceptional-he had a great presence and enthusiasm.

The mid-morning session-"Stash Your Trash" told attendees about a public relations/marketing campaign with a mascot to promote community and park cleanliness. …

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