Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Education Highlights

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Education Highlights

Article excerpt

See 2012 for a full list of workshops and education sessions

Pre-Conference Workshops

Get a jumpstart on learning by registering to attend NRPA's Pre-Conference Workshops (PCWs), held on October 14 and 15. You'll save money on travel and expenses by attending these half-day and full-day workshops that lead up to NRPA's Congress and Exposition. Covering such topics as strategic economic planning, agency accreditation, and improving staffperformance through motivation techniques, these workshops are a valuable addition to your professional development plans.

Educational Sessions

The NRPA Congress and Exposition provides hundreds of learning opportunities through 11 educational tracks specifically tailored to parks and recreation. Choose a track that best suits your needs, or participate across educational tracks for a well-rounded experience.

Tracks include:

1. Citizen/Advocacy

2. Employee/Volunteer Management

3. Environmental Stewardship

4. Healthy Lifestyles

5. Leadership and Management

6. Planning, Design, and Maintenance

7. Professional Development

8. Public Relations/Marketing

9. Recreation Programming

10. Revenue/Customer Service

11. Sports

Most of the tracks have sessions available throughout the entire week to allow attendees to follow one track for the duration of the conference. Some highlights from a few of the tracks are on the following pages. See the full list of preconference workshops and educational sessions, and register to attend, at www.


October 15

85 From Victims of Circumstance to Masters of Destiny

8:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

0.4 CEUs

Fee: $65

Financial pressures have made it imperative that parks departments become more selfsustaining, and the most effective approaches include an organization-wide strategy of sustainable growth supported by elected officials and senior department leadership. This session will provide case studies on Sonoma County Regional Parks' recent successes in forming local partnerships that are creating new revenue sources, efficiencies, and enthusiasm for the parks and resurrecting an aging park system with unlimited potential.

Participants will take away specific case studies that can help them with the logistics and best practices of public-private partnerships. During the session, small groups will brainstorm, draft, and share a proposal for at least one specific initiative they can use to begin implementing a sustainable approach. This session aims to create a network of parks agencies interested in learning from each other beyond the conference to collaborate on experiences implementing this approach to park management.

Caryl Hart, J.D., Ph.D., Director, Sonoma County, California, Regional Parks

Leon Younger, Founder and President, PROS Consulting

About the speakers-Hart will present her experience implementing the sustainability approach in Sonoma County Regional Parks. Younger will provide the framework for a sustainable parks department, based on many years of working with parks agencies throughout the country, most recently in Sonoma County.

92 Risk Management for Parks and Recreation Professionals

1:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

0.4 CEUs

Fee: $65

A park and recreation agency that understands the risks they choose to undertake, how they manage those risks, and plans for the potential outcomes is an agency that has positioned itself to make good decisions, be responsive to the safety of staffand patrons, and effectively use budgeted funds. There are some new trends in the risk management discipline, including the concept of risk as value neutral- neither good nor bad-and the trend toward integrated risk management, called Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).

Participants will learn about resources available to assist with risk management and be able to explain the risks and hazards common to parks and recreation, apply standard strategies for treating these risks and hazards, utilize a step-by-step risk management process, and create the basic components of a risk management plan. …

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