Magazine article Parks & Recreation

NRPA's Future in a New World

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

NRPA's Future in a New World

Article excerpt

It takes careful planning to stay the course in changing times.

In pondering the passing of former President Ronald Reagan, it's impossible not to notice how much the world has changed since his administration; indeed, how much the world has changed in just the past few years. Seminal events such as 9/11, the transition from a Democratic to a Republican administration, and the recent economic downturn have afjected many lives. These events have also affected the association's long-term vision for parks and recreation.

Over the years, NRPA has been guided by a document that was developed in the late 1990s, and adopted by the NRPA Hoard of Trustees in October 2001. Entitled Vision 2010, the document states NRPA's mission to "advance parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people," and provides NRPA with a strategic plan for the first 10 years of the new millennium.

Last October, we used this document to develop an annual work plan for the association. We distributed it to all NRPA governance bodies, asking these groups to suggest goals for the coming year based upon the strategies and actions listed in the vision.

Wc received SS widely divergent suggestions. Last February, we submitted these suggestions to the NRPA National Forum. After much deliberation, the Forum produced a list of nine prioritized goals. NRPA's board recently ratified these goals and adopted a budget for their implementation.

The goals are listed in their entirety on NRPA's Web site,, and emphasize specific advances in public policy, public education, continuing education for our members, and research on academic and practical park and recreation issues.

This process has worked reasonably well, and we are excited that NRPA has a plan for concentrating its resources on issues that matter most to NRPA members. Going forward, however, we felt we needed a new document that could better serve as the foundation for developing our annual goals.

Following the May Board of Trustees meeting, I appointed a new Strategic Planning Committee. The committee is chaired by President-Elect Lori Daniel, manager of recreation services, Aurora, CoIo. …

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